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Thread: Episode 28: What is the universe expanding into?

  1. #61
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    I guess what I'm trying to say is, why does there have to be a 'hypothetically perfect void' at all. What reasons are there for believing that there is no matter outside the area created in the Big Bang?

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by KiwiPhil View Post
    I guess what I'm trying to say is, why does there have to be a 'hypothetically perfect void' at all. What reasons are there for believing that there is no matter outside the area created in the Big Bang?
    As no one in 3 pages have been able to adequately answer your question, my next suggestion is that you postulate a new theory, test it and write your own thesis explaining the answer you want.

    Who knows? You may be the next Einstein.

    Your question: "Where is nothing?"

    My answer is nowhere.

    If matter, time or space exists... it is within OUR universe.... or it is unattainable.

    Unacceptable to you? OK.... You figure it out and tell US.

    Much Love,
    EE

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by KiwiPhil View Post
    What reasons are there for believing that there is no matter outside the area created in the Big Bang?
    KiwiPhil, your question may very well represent a lot of people so could you please help me understand what you are actually asking about? I am starting to believe that we are all trying to answer a question that you never meant to ask! As I see it, there are two alternatives here:

    1. You are one out of millions of otherwise well-informed people who have never understood the Big Bang theory (or relativity) well enough to realize what it claims. Your post #52 might imply that you think of the Big Bang as an explosion and that you believe in it only because you find it logical that we can calculate backwards to a point in time when that explosion occurred. Well, most of the answers that you have received on this forum try to convey that the Big Bang is not that at all and if this misconception of the Big Bang theory is the reason for your question (and you have my full respect because you are certainly not alone) then I believe you should not turn to this forum for the answer. You should read a few good books on the subject!

    On the other hand you might be putting an entirely different question. In that case you have just not done a good job explaining that to us:

    2. You fully understand and accept that the very foundation of the Big Bang theory is that the universe that we observe and the space that surrounds us and the time that we live in – the interwoven concept of space-time – all originates in a singularity with no dimensions at all. If that is your position, your question is rather whether the Big Bang that caused OUR universe could take place INSIDE another universe, another space-time. Then I suggest you read a little more till you realize that you have just asked: “What is south of the south pole?”. If that question still makes sense to you, I offer the answer “Nobody knows and nobody CAN know because our concepts of space and time are as confined to our own universe (read my post #46) as the concepts of north and south are confined to the surface of the Earth”.

    So in the first case, you are putting a question that can be answered by the Big Bang theory if you take the time to study it. In the second case your question can never be answered. It would be most clarifying if you could tell which category is yours or if you can find yourself a third one.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilEye View Post
    If you believe in evolution, then the question is moot.
    We will disolve like all the other species, either into something else, or die off long before it happens anyway. Being human doesn't give a free pass to the pool on the roof.
    I agree on that one,
    but what about the survival chances of ANY species, ANY life?
    (I mean, independent from the question if we humans can make it or not)

    I was wondering wether an ever-expanding universe would pose any theoretical obstacles to the survival of ANY form of life?
    (e.g. by going dark and running out of usable energy at a certain point in time)

  5. #65
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    Hi KiwiPhil,

    You might like to have a look at two articles at Space.com (Links are at the bottom). I think that you’ll like these two hypotheses.

    You can assess how deep your understanding to the Big Bang theory is, and why it is the most accepted model up to date. However, I think Anton is making a lot of sense in his post number 63.

    While I’m at it, in my first post on this forum, I’d like to say hello to all forum subscribers. I hope to benefit from this forum and contribute where I can. And of course, very well done to Fraser and Pamela on Astronomy Cast. I love it, and love your approach guys. Thanks!

    Article one Ekpyrotic Universe at

    http://www.space.com/scienceastronom..._010413-1.html

    Or this tiny URL

    http://tinyurl.com/6ugu

    Article two Cyclic Universe at

    http://www.space.com/scienceastronom..._universe.html

    Or this tiny URL

    http://tinyurl.com/qxuzg

  6. #66
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    Anton, I couldn't help grinning when I read your post. mostly because I do fall into your first category. That is I do think of the Big Bang as an explosion. However, I have read quite a few good books on this subject and consider myself reasonably well informed. That said, if you would recommend some reading to sway me to your way of thinking, it would be well recieved.

    EvilEye, As you may have guessed from my particularly leading questions, I do indeed have a theory about all this but really have no idea who to talk to about developing it further.

  7. #67
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    Kiwi... You need to write a thesis. You don't need to be in college. Einstein wasn't. Your ideas are just as valid as established beliefs until they can be discounted.

    I never meant to sound short with you.

    Until I learned what I know now I too thought of the Big Bang as an "explosion".

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by KiwiPhil View Post
    I do think of the Big Bang as an explosion. However, I have read quite a few good books on this subject and consider myself reasonably well informed. That said, if you would recommend some reading to sway me to your way of thinking, it would be well recieved.
    Good to hear from you, KiwiPhil! I don't intend to persuade you over more than perhaps in modifying you statement in your post #50: "I definitely believe in the Big Bang."

    Ever since Sir Frederick Hoyle, who definitely did not believe in the Big Bang, was unfortunate enough to accidentally name the theory almost 60 years ago, the term has stuck in everyone’s mind. Therefore it’s a very good idea to not use the Big Bang label to represent anything else. It should for ever be reserved for the theory independently conceived by Fridman and Lemaître, based on Einsteins general theory of relativity, developed by Gamow, Alpher and others, postulating that our universe originates from a singularity – a point with no dimensions in space or time – where Edwin Hubbles observations of receding galaxies is explained by the expansion of the space-time fabric.

    If you believe in a big explosion, maybe you should call it the Big Blast or something similar. After all, the most common misinterpretation of the Big Bang also deserves a name and I agree with EvilEye, yours might be the embryo to a new grand theory. In any case, you are of course most entitled to hold that view. I can think of a few things to consider, though.

    You would have to explain why galaxies pick up speed the further away they are from us. That would hardly be the case if they were flying away due to an explosion inside an existing space, whereas it follows by necessity if space itself is expanding.

    As I see it we would also have to accept that our Milky Way galaxy is the very center of that primordial explosion since in a “pre-existing” space there must be such a center and the vast majority of galaxies can clearly be seen to rush away from us. In the Big Bang on the other hand, every point in the universe is part of the original center and every point, unless gravitationally bound, is naturally receding from every other point.

    Simon Singh has written a good overview called, eh, Big Bang!

  9. #69
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    You would have to explain why galaxies pick up speed the further away they are from us.
    That one is easy. The universe is over 1/4 old.

    Imagine streching a rubber-band beyond its limit. (Remember that a PERFECT vaccum would pull our universe against the force of gravity.)

    At some point, the rubber band will BREAK. And when that happens what happens? The ends along with the whole thing, expannd faster in opposite directions exactly.

    Expansion faster than gravity is not unnaceptable if we didn't know the first part of the equation - meaning the 1/4 of the timeline of the complete Universe.)

    What I mean is that we have no way of knowing where half-way is.

    Regardless of the theory, our Universe will cease to exist someday.

    We know how old the universe is NOW, but we don't know how old it WILL be when it dies, so we can't know why we are expanding faster. We could still be in the first half of an explosion, or we could be at the end of a rubber band that snapped long after it passed the half-way mark.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilEye View Post
    ...we can't know why we are expanding faster.
    I am not sure I’m smart enough to follow your argument here but I get the impression that you are talking about the increasing expansion rate of the universe (for instance due to dark energy) whereas I am talking about Hubble’s law (showing that the velocity at which distant galaxies appear to move away from us is proportional to their distance). Again:

    If the velocity at which distant galaxies appear to move away from us is gradually increasing the further away they are, that would be a proof for the Big Bang statement that space itself is expanding: the further away to start with, the more space there is in between that can expand.

    If instead we had a Big Blast INSIDE an existing space (ordinary explosion), at least I would not expect any such effect.

    The fact that the whole universe is also increasing its expansion rate is a subject for another show, to quote Pamela and Fraser.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anton View Post
    If the velocity at which distant galaxies appear to move away from us is gradually increasing the further away they are, that would be a proof for the Big Bang statement that space itself is expanding: the further away to start with, the more space there is in between that can expand.

    If instead we had a Big Blast INSIDE an existing space (ordinary explosion), at least I would not expect any such effect.
    As far as I'm aware the velocity of singular galaxies are not increasing, (except for the effect of dark energy) unless you mean that the further they are from us the faster they appear to be travelling. This is just the standard definition of expansion, which I agree with.

    Now correct me if I'm wrong, but if an explosion happened in a frictionless environment wouldn't it have the same sort of expansion if there was nothing to slow it down? (apart from gravity)

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by KiwiPhil View Post
    As far as I'm aware the velocity of singular galaxies are not increasing, (except for the effect of dark energy) unless you mean that the further they are from us the faster they appear to be travelling. This is just the standard definition of expansion, which I agree with.
    Yes I am referring to recessional velocity, that is the velocity at which distant galaxies APPEAR to move away from us. This means, as you say, that the galaxies themselves are not moving (which by the way they would be if we were talking explosion) but the space between them is expanding. If we call that “the standard definition of expansion” it is only because the Big Bang theory has become the standard theory. The theory explains why galaxies SEEM to move faster the further away they are, namely because of the expansion of space-time itself and that makes it a very unique kind of expansion.

    Quote Originally Posted by KiwiPhil View Post
    Now correct me if I'm wrong, but if an explosion happened in a frictionless environment wouldn't it have the same sort of expansion if there was nothing to slow it down? (apart from gravity)
    If you had a standard explosion inside an existing space you would NOT get that increasing effect because here it would be the galaxies that were moving (and let’s forget about gravity, dark matter and dark energy since these factors for now are not relevant and will only serve to confuse). The explosion would occur in a specific place inside that space and pieces of matter would fly away from that point in all directions at approximately the same speed. Each piece would maintain its speed. No force would act to increase it. What would you see if you could sit on one of these pieces? Well, you would certainly not find that all the other pieces were flying away from you. Those pieces behind you (in the direction of the original explosion point) and the pieces in front of you would maintain their distance to you since you were headed the same way and even if some of them were much farther away than others, that would not make them move faster. The ones that would recede at the highest speed would be the ones flying in the opposite direction. There would be no increase in speed whatsoever due to distance.

    If you could remain at the original center of the explosion (and that’s where we appear to be) you would see all the other pieces of matter fly away from you at the same speed regardless of distance.

    I think that if you agree with the standard definition of expansion as you say you do, then you have thereby already accepted that space itself is expanding and if you follow that backwards you will get to a point that contains not only all matter (like in an explosion) but all of space and all of time.

    Sorry, I must keep it shorter next time...

  13. #73
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    If we are but one of endless universes, like the foam of bubbles...

    Expansion occurs within each of these bubbles for a time, and then one tiny bubble expanding next to a neighbor doing the same....with all neighbors around THEM doing the same, 2 of the bubbles suddenly open to each other, and become one larger bubble. Near the point of the time they are coming together, they begin to speed up radically, and then snap and then slow as the larger single bubble wobbles a tiny fraction of time and settles.

    We may be at the point shortly before the universe snaps together with another.

    Our neighbor is knocking, and we haven't let them in ....yet.

  14. #74
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    Scientists also confirmed that in the first 8 billion years in the existence of the universe gravitational center collapse in the universe started to decay. Dark matter began losing its gravitational pull against the dark energy, began to pull apart the universe causing the galaxies to collide with each other (an example thousands galaxies collided in Abell 754.) A similar event of an explosion was accrued in the universe a side of the ball was ripped apart and allowing the galaxies to escape from the universe. Milky Way and many galaxies that were outside of the universe science believe that all these galaxies are part of the universe and appear to them more flat in shape. Galaxies will drift further and further apart and expend forever in endless dark space. Science also has similar theory hypotheses the universe will continue to expand.

    As we compare evolution of the universe with a computer.
    The first computer was build 1946 weight 28 tons, size 80’wx8’h, performance 5000 addition problems/sec. and inside 17840 vacuum tubes.
    Computer build in 2006 weight negligible, size 90.3 sq.mm, performance 21.6 billion ops./sec. and inside 151.6 m transistors.
    We can call evolution of a computer but who was behind of this marvel?

    Also we should look at the universe in the same way there must be very intelligent Beings who has knowledge and purpose of their creation.
    Last edited by Fisherman; 2007-May-12 at 11:03 PM.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anton View Post
    The explosion would occur in a specific place inside that space and pieces of matter would fly away from that point in all directions at approximately the same speed. Each piece would maintain its speed. No force would act to increase it.
    I'm afraid I must disagree. If you took a sphere of 'perfect' explosive, one in which every particle of it's mass repelled every other particle with the same force, then the particles on the outer edge would move the fastest due to having the combined forces of everything else pushing against them. This force would get steadily less as you look deeper because there would be less particles to supply the force. Each piece would maintatin its speed. No force would be needed to increase it. Each piece would already be moving in the appropriate way.

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by KiwiPhil View Post
    If you took a sphere of 'perfect' explosive, one in which every particle of it's mass repelled every other particle with the same force, then the particles on the outer edge would move the fastest due to having the combined forces of everything else pushing against them. This force would get steadily less as you look deeper because there would be less particles to supply the force. Each piece would maintatin its speed. No force would be needed to increase it. Each piece would already be moving in the appropriate way.
    OK, that’s intresting…

    The Big Bang Theory has been developed during an 80-year period (90 or even 100 if you include the Einstein foundations). Over those years it has been refined and proved over and over again. Naturally, that does not exclude the possibility that another theory might one day replace it but, to say the least, the theory has had a good start.
    The Big Bang Theory claims that the universe originates in a singularity and therefore is not an explosion of matter inside an existing space but an expansion of space itself.

    I have two questions for you:

    1. Why, in your opinion, is Hubble’s expansion law (that the speed of recession is proportional to distance) considered to be a key evidence in support of the Big Bang Theory?
    2. If the expansion that we observe (that is expressed in Hubble’s law) can be explained by an explosion of matter in space as described by you, is there any other place our own galaxy can be located than in the dead center of that original explosion?

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anton View Post
    1. Why, in your opinion, is Hubble’s expansion law (that the speed of recession is proportional to distance) considered to be a key evidence in support of the Big Bang Theory?
    1. For the same reason as everybody else. Because all the Galaxies are moving apart, at some time they must have been much closer together.


      Quote Originally Posted by Anton View Post
    2. If the expansion that we observe (that is expressed in Hubble’s law) can be explained by an explosion of matter in space as described by you, is there any other place our own galaxy can be located than in the dead center of that original explosion?
Absolutely. It can be anywhere out of the viewable range of the edge. All Galaxies are still going to be moving away from each other in a uniform way. It can't be within a viewable range of the edge otherwise we would notice a lack of stars from the area outside.
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  • #78
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    But the big bang (bad name) didn't happen "over there".

    We are a product of it still existing.

  • #79
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    A different way to expain "Big Bang"

    At the beginning of time there was a huge Single Light where the Light Beings (or ET’s) lived as an undivided Light. The Light decided to have purpose for their existence. Up to now the Light had drifted aimlessly through endless dark space. The Light Beings decided to create the universe and chose the size and the shape of the universe a very simple design -a ball with patches--to hold all of the galaxies. It appeared to me as a huge ball with patches stitched together (similar to a soccer ball). The Light Beings constructed the first universe and this huge ball was one billion light-years in diameter (also science confirmed that the 1st universe was much smaller and was galaxies primitive design) The Light decide to separated themselves into 12 billion individual Light Beings. Every Light Being had chosen the way he likes to be different in his appearance and understanding, in other words every Light Being wanted to be unique. The ball (universe) was ready for the creation of the galaxies.
    Before construction started each Light Being had to calculate his own galaxy, such as how the galaxy would look like, how big it would be, and how many arms it would have. The size of the galactic center needed to hold all stars, planets and moons and the rest of the parts of the galaxy. In the first created universe, the galaxies exploded more or less at the same time, as the galaxies were created at the same time (science have own similar explanation of Big Bang.)
    Last edited by Fisherman; 2007-May-17 at 02:22 PM.

  • #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by KiwiPhil View Post
    For the same reason as everybody else.
    I doubt that!

    In your version, Hubble's law is NOT a key evidence for the Big Bang but rather for a Big Blast. So to clarify my question:

    Why, in your opinion, is Hubble’s expansion law considered by the general scientific community to be a key evidence in support of the Big Bang Theory INSTEAD of the "Big Blast"?

    Let me quote Wikipedia which sums it up quite nicely:

    "The metric expansion of space is a key part of science's current understanding of the universe, whereby spacetime itself is described by a metric which changes over time in such a way that the spatial dimensions appear to grow or stretch as the universe gets older. It explains how the universe expands in the Big Bang model, a feature of our universe supported by all cosmological experiments, astrophysics calculations, and measurements to date.

    The expansion of space is conceptually different from other kinds of expansions and explosions that are seen in nature. Our understanding of the "fabric of the universe" (spacetime) requires that what we see normally as "space", "time", and "distance" are not absolutes, but are determined by a metric that can change. In the metric expansion of space, rather than objects in a fixed "space" moving apart into "emptiness", it is the space that contains the objects which is itself changing. It is as if without objects themselves moving, space is somehow "growing" in between them."

    For all I know, your idea might lead the way to a new standard creation theory, but it seems to be decades behind when it comes to "cosmological experiments and astrophysics calculations" to prove it. And it definitely stands in opposition to the Big Bang Theory which you have claimed to believe in

  • #81
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    Sorry anton but I disagree.

    It seems to me that your quote from wiki:

    It explains how the universe expands in the Big Bang model, a feature of our universe supported by all cosmological experiments, astrophysics calculations, and measurements to date.

    So It's not really saying that the Big Bang model is supported by all cosmological experiments, astrophysics calculations, and measurements to date, but just that the expansion of it is. After that it is speculation.

    These cosmological experiments, astrophysics calculations, and measurements to date can also support alternative theories, as long as they don't directly disprove them.

  • #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by KiwiPhil View Post
    These cosmological experiments, astrophysics calculations, and measurements to date can also support alternative theories, as long as they don't directly disprove them.
    Your last post indicates that I might finally have persuaded you into realizing that you do NOT believe in the Big Bang Theory but in a contending idea that challenges the very core of the Big Bang. And as long as you stand by that, it’s fine with me. The Big Bang has not been proved beyond ALL reasonable doubt and probably never will. But after all these decades it certainly has a massive support and for very good theoretical and experimental reasons.

    So maybe your answer to my question is something like this:

    “The reason why the general scientific community finds Hubble’s expansion law to be a key evidence for the Big Bang is that the truth has not yet dawned on them, namely that the most widespread misconception of the Big Bang is actually the place to look for answers.”

    This time I will quote an appeal from NASA:s WMAP-site:

    Please avoid the following common misconceptions about the Big Bang and expansion:

    • The Big Bang did not occur at a single point in space as an "explosion." It is better thought of as the simultaneous appearance of space everywhere in the universe. That region of space that is within our present horizon was indeed no bigger than a point in the past.
    • By definition, the universe encompasses all of space and time as we know it, so it is beyond the realm of the Big Bang model to postulate what the universe is expanding into.

  • #83
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    This thread is going in circles...or should I say a parabola.

    I recommend it be locked. All ideas, theories, and pure facts have been established, and it is not progressing.

    I'm guilty of doing it before....I have learned.

  • #84
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    In space the same law is applied; as we look an airplane must be pressurized if is exterior shell damaged anything inside will rush out with tremendous speed. The same was happens to galaxies in the universe. Milky Way galaxy was a part of the universe but the last 6 billion years drifting in endless dark space and how today the universe appears flat to astronomers (160 billion light years wide.)
    Last edited by Fisherman; 2007-May-20 at 02:41 AM. Reason: misspeling

  • #85
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    O.K. My last try.

    Imagine a perfect void.

    Now put something with mass (which includes energy) in it.

    Physics likes order within its chaos. So it wants everything to be equal as far as pressure goes.

    The "something" will be shredded apart and try to equally fill that void. And if the void is endless, then it is a losing battle. Everything will continue to rush away from everything else like an expanding balloon forver.

    Since gravity is a property of mass, then sometimes, those laws will come into effect and draw one thing speeding away close to another and cause them to spiral inward toward each other...creating stars & planets, galaxies, and clusters.... but even THEY are still rushing out into that void trying to fill it.

    The space inside the universe is EXPANDING. There is a void beyond it into which the universe is trying to fill.

  • #86
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    As soon as I typed the previous one, and old experiment came to mind.

    Put an empty balloon with no hole (representing the universe) into a box (representing the void).

    Remove all the air from the box.

    What happens to the balloon? What is inside the balloon? Nothing. What is outside the balloon? Nothing.
    Last edited by EvilEye; 2007-May-20 at 03:26 PM. Reason: spelling and clarity

  • #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fisherman View Post
    ... today the universe appears flat to astronomers (160 billion light years wide.)
    Where did you get that number from?

    Here's what Wikipedia says about the size of the universe:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observable_universe#Size


    Quote Originally Posted by EvilEye View Post
    O.K. My last try...
    Don't give up, your posts are very instructive!!!
    Last edited by clint; 2007-May-21 at 09:28 AM.

  • #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anton View Post
    Your last post indicates that I might finally have persuaded you into realizing that you do NOT believe in the Big Bang Theory but in a contending idea that challenges the very core of the Big Bang. And as long as you stand by that, it’s fine with me. The Big Bang has not been proved beyond ALL reasonable doubt and probably never will. But after all these decades it certainly has a massive support and for very good theoretical and experimental reasons.
    Okay I'll admit it. I guess you have covinced me that I do not believe in the big bang model. Though I think the term explosion may be misleading. I don't think of it as a typical explosion, but more of an extreme repulsion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anton View Post
    This time I will quote an appeal from NASA:s WMAP-site:

    Please avoid the following common misconceptions about the Big Bang and expansion:

    • The Big Bang did not occur at a single point in space as an "explosion." It is better thought of as the simultaneous appearance of space everywhere in the universe. That region of space that is within our present horizon was indeed no bigger than a point in the past.
    • By definition, the universe encompasses all of space and time as we know it, so it is beyond the realm of the Big Bang model to postulate what the universe is expanding into.
    I'm afraid these quotes are again basically just assumptions. They don't give any information as to why they made their assumptions, so I still find it unconvincing.

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    Have you listened to our two-part episode where we describe all the different lines of evidence for the Big Bang? If you don't like the theory, you have to come up with evidence that the Big Bang can't explain, or an alternative theory that explains all the evidence better than the Big Bang.

    If it intuitively doesn't feel right to you, that's not a good enough reason.

  • #90
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    Hi Fraser.

    Yeah I have listened to those two episodes, but it was quite a while ago so I think I'll listen to them again.

    One question I'd like to ask. Why was it necessary for the universe to have come from a single point and not from a mass with a measurable size?

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