Monday, July 22, 2013

Where did the universe come from?

I don't have a clue about the beginning of the universe.


"The Big Bang theory is an attempt to describe the creation and evolution of the universe. The theory appears to match observations, and the theoretical physics appear to hold back through time to within a tiny fraction of a second after the creation of the Big Bang. Beyond that the theory cannot explain how the Big Bang singularity came into existence. See The Big Bang Theory Indeed, it is really pointless to attempt to go back beyond the Big Bang, it is meaningless to ask what came 'before' because there is no 'before'. Time itself came into existence with the Big Bang.

Stephen Hawking in 'A Brief History of Time' describes how time and energy came into existence with the creation of the Big Bang, but that the laws of science break down at the singularity preventing us from looking further back in time. As far as the Big Bang theory is concerned it is meaningless to look back beyond the Big Bang, nothing existed. Perhaps so, but it's very unsatisfactory to have a theory of the creation and evolution of the universe that does not explain where the universe, the Big Bang, actually came from, it must have come from something. Or must it?"

Does anybody know?

Read more here.

Interesting video:Stephen Hawking - An Imperfect Universe.

Recommend this post


  1. I have to say that I am more than a little suspicious when anyone (let alone a scientist) tells me that there is "no point" in asking such and such a question. It seems to me that those are usually the very questions we should be asking.

    The so-called 'big bang' theory is biblical in its neatness and narrative order. Of course in recent years some physicists are talking about so-called membrane theory and multiple universe theory. If any of these ideas (which accept the "big bang" but seem to expand on it) prove to be viable then there is a very good point in asking what came before the 'big bang.'

  2. Kirby, very thoughtful comment. Thank you. What are your views on God and religion?

    I am very confused when it comes to religion. Your views will be much appreciated.

  3. That's a large subject. I was raised by a atheist mother and an agnostic father, and as a result all faiths were open to me. I spent many years exploring them so that, at the very least, I could say that I had a sense of what they meant and where they came from (philosophically speaking).

    Here are some of my thoughts:
    -Unlike many people, I don't think that religion is the source of evil. People are plenty evil all on their own, religious institutions are just convenient power hubs that people can use for their own aggrandizement. If it wasn't religion it would be something else.
    -Science has no better access to truth than any other kind of human endeavour. Montaigne taught us a long time ago that even a commitment to rationality requires a pre-rational choice.
    -I am fairly certain that the universe is considerably more complex than the vast majority suppose it to be.
    -The most interesting religious philosopher that I have ever run across is the third century Buddhist Nagarjuna who wrote a remarkable book called Fundamental Verses on the Middle Way. He created a philosophy of emptiness expressed by the claim that all being is empty of inherent substance because its identity is dependent upon other things. It can be complex and turgid philosophy but there are good modern books about it that are fairly accessible. It is this emptiness that, I am sure, is the path to follow to find the source of what people commonly think of as religion.

  4. Kirby, very thought provoking comment. Thank you. My views are similar to yours. I don't think human knowledge is perfect. This universe is too complex to be explained by a few scientists. Big Bang theory is a theory. Any claim of knowledge which has theory at the end is not a fact yet.

    Likewise religion is not a perfect knowledge. Quite often it capitalizes on uncertainty and the fear of its followers. It is like George Bush saying "you're either with us or against us" to justify Iraq war. Capitalizing on the fear that Saddam had WMD's.
    Religion: 'If you are with us then you will go to heaven and if you're against us hell is waiting for you'.

    More I learn about life more I find out how little I know.

    I am personally an agnostic.

  5. I love this topic, as frustrating as it can be.

    I’m inclined to think the universe (if by that we mean everything, and not just what we perceive as one universe) has always existed. Similar to what this post says –
    It is very, very difficult to debate theories surrounding the origins of – let me call it Everything – because we have serious limitations as to what we can know, what we are capable of learning, what we are capable of perceiving. If we were a sightless species, we would be far more limited in what we could understand of our universe. We’d be relying on interpretations of what our other senses gather.
    Imagine a species with an additional sense – a sense that perceives cause and effect, not by figuring it out or by interpreting, but one that simply perceives it at all times without having to think about it. Their understanding of Everything would be far more expansive than ours. There are limits to our intelligence as well. Neanderthal probably wouldn’t be able to understand advanced math, no matter how long you spent teaching it.
    What you said: “I don't think human knowledge is perfect. This universe is too complex to be explained by a few scientists. Big Bang theory is a theory. Any claim of knowledge which has theory at the end is not a fact yet.”
    I agree our knowledge isn’t perfect, and I would add it can never be perfect for the reasons mentioned above. But theories are not guesses, or hypothesis, they are very strongly supported with facts and evidence to the point that a reasonable person can figure they are closer to truth than not. They offer very plausible explanations.
    You add: “Likewise religion is not a perfect knowledge.”
    Here, I disagree. I consider religion faith-based belief rather than knowledge because religion itself asks us to take things on faith while science asks us to do the opposite – not faith, but reason, research, analysis based on what we can scientifically determine. I don’t think we can place religion and science in the same category when we talk about limitations to what we know because religion doesn’t require facts or proof and often demands we set aside doubts that arise from reason. Unlike scientific theories, religious beliefs require no evidence.

    You say: “More I learn about life more I find out how little I know.”
    Same here, and I am better than ok with that because I know this means I am becoming more open to learning even more, even though I am quite sure it is impossible to know everything. And I’m ok with that as well, just as I’m sure my dog is ok with his limited view of the universe. We can dream, but we still are what we are, and there’s plenty of wonder in that already.
    I’m atheist because I base my beliefs on fact-based reasoning rather than faith, and I avidly avoid grabbing onto a belief that kind of fits because no one has yet come up with a scientific answer. Doesn’t mean there is no scientific answer, it just means we haven’t found it yet, and may never find it. I’d rather keep looking and even accept it may be beyond our human understanding than slap on a religious or superstitious answer because I’m too uncomfortable not having answers.
    I love Dawkins’ “Magic of Reality” for the title alone – I am very happy with our physical world, our life cycles, the beautiful complexity of our universe (like your gorgeous roses!) and I’m totally alright with no after-life. I love reality, am passionate about it, fascinated to a ridiculous degree and know it isn’t dull or devoid of love, imagination, compassion, or even that terrific awe often linked to religious experiences.
    That’s my take on it, anyway. :)

  6. 900 J. First I am glad you're doing ok.

    My university training is that a theory is a set of hypothesis and it does not become all facts until all hypothesis are proven right or some hypothesis are rendered irrelevant and it is no longer a theory.

    Religion is indeed a belief system and not a scientific theory. If it brings peace of mind to some then I don't hold that against them. However when it is used to justify violence and other horrendous acts then one must watch out.

    Life indeed is an unusual mystery. Just look at the miracle of reproduction. An invisible sperm to a naked eye fertilizes an invisible egg and there is all the software for a full-fledged human being and same applies to other living creatures. Now beat that Bill Gates.

    For me mystery of life will remain as such and may never be resolved. Is it all a result of an accident is hard to believe too.