The time has come, I tell you now, to speak of many things.
Of matter dark and giant bangs and theories made of strings.
And how the universe began and what the future brings.
Physics has settled on the theory as to how the universe came to be, which it named The Big Bang Theory. The theory isn’t without warts. Remember that the Big Bang predicts a universe that is younger than the planets and stars it contains. Another unanswered question is why was it so hot right after the Big Bang? A third question is why is the universe so uniform on a large scale? Even with billions of stars and galaxies clumped together in local regions, on a very large scale the universe is quite uniform. Another significant question is why is the rate of expansion so finely tuned? If the rate of expansion of the universe had been smaller by one part in 1015 just one second after the Big Bang, gravity would have overcome expansion and the universe would have collapsed on itself by now. Had it been about that much greater, gravity wouldn’t have had a chance to accrete matter to form into stars, galaxies and planets.
We’ve noted several times that the Big Bang Theory smacks of a creator, or intelligent design. The last question, why is the universe so finely tuned, feeds that notion. We live in a Goldilocks universe, not too big, not too small, but just right. Why is that so? What are the odds of that happening in the absence of some benevolent outside influence?
The way science has responded to these questions is interesting, to say the least. Consider the Big Bang itself. How did that happen? Doesn’t the description in an earlier post of what the Big Bang looked like sound an awful lot like Genesis 1:3 in the Bible? Can science explain what caused the Big Bang so as to eliminate an outside influence? One explanation that has been posited is one of Alexander Friedman’s models. Remember that Friedman said that three possibilities exist for an expanding universe. The first is that it expands continually at a fairly steady rate. The second is that it expands continually at an ever-decreasing rate, but never actually stops and contracts. The third is that the universe goes through cycles of expansion and contraction. The end of each contractive phase ends in a Big Crunch as all matter collapses in on itself. This in turn causes another Big Bang. It’s much like a Slinky going down an endless flight of stairs. The Slinky expands and pulls itself over the first step then contracts as it hits the second step. Then it bounces and expands itself over the second step. This explanation only solves the problem for our particular expansive stage of the Slinky universe. The question still remains, who or what pushed the Slinky off the top step?
Physics describes the universe by means of two partial theories, general relativity and quantum mechanics, neither of which can fully explain the current universe that we observe, and each of which, alone, give contradictory predictions. General relativity breaks down as we work backwards. With all matter squeezed into what scientists call a singularity, general relativity is inadequate for the task. At that point we have to look at the opposite spectrum of physics, particle physics, the science of particles, the things that make up atoms . When we enter that realm, we leave the certainty of the real world behind. Nothing is at it seems.
Stay with us; things are about to get very weird.