What was the Big Bang?

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Just when I was going to take a breather from the forum, I came across this and it made me wonder what do scientists actually believe concerning the "Big Bang?"  Was it a violent explosion with literally nothing existing before it or has the universe always been expanding?  How diverse are the opinions and what data is being used?

EDIT:  Sorry, it's an odd video and it won't play here.  The URL is https://www.youtube.com/shorts/32C5mC2eR80
(This post was last modified: 2022-02-16, 11:52 AM by Brian. Edited 1 time in total.)
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(2022-02-16, 11:50 AM)Brian Wrote: Just when I was going to take a breather from the forum, I came across this and it made me wonder what do scientists actually believe concerning the "Big Bang?"  Was it a violent explosion with literally nothing existing before it or has the universe always been expanding?  How diverse are the opinions and what data is being used?

EDIT:  Sorry, it's an odd video and it won't play here.  The URL is https://www.youtube.com/shorts/32C5mC2eR80

I have sometimes mused over this question with a scientist friend of mine. We both came to the same conclusion. In ordinary science, if some equations reach a singularity for some variable values, you conclude that in some sense the equations were only an approximation and that approximation breaks down at that point. It is only in high energy physics and cosmology where people seriously think the singularity is real!
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Maybe I'll expand on this a little.

One of the things I used to love about Skeptiko was that fact that it was extremely sceptical about some aspects of science - and we all used to explore those ideas in great detail.

Inevitably some of those explorations became 'political' because they dealt with subjects like 'climate change' and pharmaceuticals, however that leaves a whole range of issues where science claims to know stuff that it probably doesn't. Part of the problem is that modern theories relate to physical processes that are far removed from anything we can actually experiment with.

Science theory that isn't closely linked to actual experimental results can easily drift off into nonsense. Here is an article from an organisation related to the Discovery Institute. This is a Christian organisation that does not believe in Darwin's theory as the explanation for the evolution of life on earth. It produces some excellent arguments against the theory that we have discussed elsewhere on this forum. However, it also seems to be branching out into science in general. Here is a discussion about the Big Bang theory:

https://www.icr.org/article/does-cosmic-...-big-bang/

I would argue that that article should sow seeds of doubt in many scientists. It is not so much that it proves that the Big Bang didn't happen, but it makes me wonder if science should have settled so easily on a theory which clearly may well be wrong. A lot of scientific work is now based on the BB theory, but is it wise to base so much effort on such shaky foundations?

Notice in particular, how the original theory had to be repeatedly patched to fit the experimental data as it arrived. In particular, the rather outlandish cosmic inflation concept was just added to solve a problem with the BB theory!

Also the CMB data has to be filtered to remove contributions from our galaxy, and it is then that the signal appears to be isotropic. Then it was decided that the CMB should show small fluctuations - which were duly found! Now there is an embarrassment because the data seems aligned with the plane of the ecliptic - which IMHO, is probably the result of all that computer filtering to remove galactic contributions.

Just how much computer filtering can a data set cope with!
(This post was last modified: 2022-02-25, 10:04 PM by David001. Edited 2 times in total.)
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The Big Bang article was produced by something called the Institute of Creation Research (ICR), which appears to be a Young Earth Creationist (YEC) organization, believing not only that Darwinism is false, but also that there hasn't been any sort of evolutionary process of progressive changes in life over the ages. They believe that all the present species were created as is, and that this creative event of Earth and life and mankind was as they interpret from the Bible, a few thousand years BC. 

Of course this belief system (with the exception of the falsity of Darwinism) is untenable considering the mountain of evidence that has been accumulated by mainstream science over the last two centuries, evidence which is fully accepted by the DI.

As can be seen, there are only two basic tenets held by the ICR that are in common with the Discovery Institute - the falsity of Darwinism, and that the Universe and life had their origins in the creative acts of some sort of supreme intelligence. The DI is firmly grounded in well-established science as far as the age of the Earth is considered, and with the ages of the various classes, orders and phyla of life over many hundreds of millions of years. That with life there has in fact been a long extended process of change with time, to be termed evolution. 

The Big Bang research survey linked to by ICR appears to point out major flaws in the current prevailing consensus about the reality of the Big Bang, and shows that despite their devotion to a Scriptural young earth creationist stance these people can certainly grasp involved scientific/cosmological and astrophysical theory. 

But the ICR is very far removed in its belief system from the Discovery Institute. In fact, the DI has generally held that the Big Bang was a real event that did happen approximately 13.8 billion years ago, and that the evidence for it establishes that there was in truth a beginning of everything, when the original creative event took place, something that is shyed away from by most scientists in favor of contrived alternatives like the multiverse (that attempts to supply a non-teleological explanation for fine tuning for instance). Anything to avoid admitting that there is scientific evidence for the existence of a Creator outside of nature.
(This post was last modified: 2022-02-26, 12:13 AM by nbtruthman. Edited 1 time in total.)
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(2022-02-26, 12:10 AM)nbtruthman Wrote: The Big Bang article was produced by something called the Institute of Creation Research (ICR), which appears to be a Young Earth Creationist (YEC) organization, believing not only that Darwinism is false, but also that there hasn't been any sort of evolutionary process of progressive changes in life over the ages. They believe that all the present species were created as is, and that this creative event of Earth and life and mankind was as they interpret from the Bible, a few thousand years BC. 

Of course this belief system (with the exception of the falsity of Darwinism) is untenable considering the mountain of evidence that has been accumulated by mainstream science over the last two centuries, evidence which is fully accepted by the DI.

As can be seen, there are only two basic tenets held by the ICR that are in common with the Discovery Institute - the falsity of Darwinism, and that the Universe and life had their origins in the creative acts of some sort of supreme intelligence. The DI is firmly grounded in well-established science as far as the age of the Earth is considered, and with the ages of the various classes, orders and phyla of life over many hundreds of millions of years. That with life there has in fact been a long extended process of change with time, to be termed evolution. 

The Big Bang research survey linked to by ICR appears to point out major flaws in the current prevailing consensus about the reality of the Big Bang, and shows that despite their devotion to a Scriptural young earth creationist stance these people can certainly grasp involved scientific/cosmological and astrophysical theory. 

But the ICR is very far removed in its belief system from the Discovery Institute. In fact, the DI has generally held that the Big Bang was a real event that did happen approximately 13.8 billion years ago, and that the evidence for it establishes that there was in truth a beginning of everything, when the original creative event took place, something that is shyed away from by most scientists in favor of contrived alternatives like the multiverse (that attempts to supply a non-teleological explanation for fine tuning for instance). Anything to avoid admitting that there is scientific evidence for the existence of a Creator outside of nature.

When correlating history with Genesis, the biblical time scale and geographic area of Eden in the Bible seems to correlate with the early settlers, not the beginning of mankind.  Genesis 1 culminates in the beginning of mankind but may take place over many thousands of years.
(2022-02-26, 12:10 AM)nbtruthman Wrote: The Big Bang article was produced by something called the Institute of Creation Research (ICR), which appears to be a Young Earth Creationist (YEC) organization, believing not only that Darwinism is false, but also that there hasn't been any sort of evolutionary process of progressive changes in life over the ages. They believe that all the present species were created as is, and that this creative event of Earth and life and mankind was as they interpret from the Bible, a few thousand years BC. 

Of course this belief system (with the exception of the falsity of Darwinism) is untenable considering the mountain of evidence that has been accumulated by mainstream science over the last two centuries, evidence which is fully accepted by the DI.

As can be seen, there are only two basic tenets held by the ICR that are in common with the Discovery Institute - the falsity of Darwinism, and that the Universe and life had their origins in the creative acts of some sort of supreme intelligence. The DI is firmly grounded in well-established science as far as the age of the Earth is considered, and with the ages of the various classes, orders and phyla of life over many hundreds of millions of years. That with life there has in fact been a long extended process of change with time, to be termed evolution. 

The Big Bang research survey linked to by ICR appears to point out major flaws in the current prevailing consensus about the reality of the Big Bang, and shows that despite their devotion to a Scriptural young earth creationist stance these people can certainly grasp involved scientific/cosmological and astrophysical theory. 

But the ICR is very far removed in its belief system from the Discovery Institute. In fact, the DI has generally held that the Big Bang was a real event that did happen approximately 13.8 billion years ago, and that the evidence for it establishes that there was in truth a beginning of everything, when the original creative event took place, something that is shyed away from by most scientists in favor of contrived alternatives like the multiverse (that attempts to supply a non-teleological explanation for fine tuning for instance). Anything to avoid admitting that there is scientific evidence for the existence of a Creator outside of nature.

I totally agree, but the creationists can perform a useful job by poking holes in scientific orthodoxy. To be absolutely clear, by quoting them, I don't in any way endorse the whole of their alternative theories!

Paradoxically, Stephen C Meyer (a prominent Discovery Institute member) seems to buy into the BB theory because it fits the idea that God created the whole shebang but he is also happy with the very long timescale.

My view is that science has built far too much on ideas that aren't very secure. Another, somewhat related issue, is that a prominent astronomer, Halton Arp, came up with evidence that the most distant objects in the universe, quasars, aren't distant at all, but are associated with certain galaxies with much smaller redshifts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EckBfKPAGNM

Distances are calculated from the redshift by first translating the redshift into a velocity of recession and then into a distance assuming Hubble's Law (which is only an observed association).

Clearly anything that messes up the calculation of cosmological distances, would wreck a great deal of cosmology and physics which depends on these distance measurements. Evidence like this should logically be explored with great urgency, but of course when too much science would be overturned, science doesn't seem to proceed in a logical fashion.

As a result, Halton Arp had his telescope time removed from him and became treated in the way dissident scientists always are.

If you imagine this sort of scientific 'logic' stacked up several layers, I think that large chunks of modern science may be wrong and essentially worthless because it is built on layer after layer of erroneous theory.

This is obviously particularly clear when we see how science interfaces with psi, but it is in fact a process of slow degeneration.
(This post was last modified: 2022-02-26, 12:35 PM by David001. Edited 3 times in total.)
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