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725 degree Kelvin (-454.765 degree Fahrenheit, -270.425 degree Celsius) Cosmic Microwave Background radiation (CMB) that pervades the observable universe. This is believed to be the remnant that scientists were looking for. Penzias and Wilson shared the 1978 Nobel Prize for Physics for this discovery.
Finally, the abundance of the "light elements" hydrogen and helium found in the observable universe are believed to support the Big Bang model of origins (the Big-Bang Theory Web site, 2003).
In 2003, Physicist Robert Gentry proposed an alternative to the standard Big Bang theory, an alternative that also accounts for the evidences listed above (Eastman and Missler, 1996). Gentry believes that the standard Big Bang model is founded upon a faulty paradigm that he claims is inconsistent with the empirical data. Gentry bases his model on Einstein's static-spacetime paradigm that he claims is the "genuine cosmic Rosetta."
Gentry is not alone. Other high-profile dissenters include Nobel laureate Dr. Hannes Alfven, Professor Geoffrey Burbidge, Dr. Halton Arp, and British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle, who is accredited with first coining the term "the Big Bang" during a radio broadcast in 1950.
Religion and the Big Bang Theory
God is frequently a major part of the Big Bang discussion (the Big-Bang Theory Web site, 2003). This is because cosmogony (the study of the origin of the universe) is an area where science and religion meet. Creation was a supernatural event, meaning that it took place outside of the natural realm.
The Bible holds that, eventually, all scientific theories will fail, because God created the universe.
There are many misconceptions surrounding the Big Bang theory (the Big-Bang Theory Web site, 2003). For example, we tend to imagine a giant explosion. Experts however say that there was no explosion; there was (and continues to be) an expansion. Rather than imagining a balloon popping and releasing its contents, imagine a balloon expanding: an infinitesimally small balloon expanding to the size of our current universe."
The Big Bang theory is based on the mathematical equations, known as the field equations, of the general theory of relativity created in 1915 by Albert Einstein.
According to LaRocco and Blair (2003): "It is extremely difficult to separate this subject of science from daily existential pondering. Everyone at some point in time has grappled with the question of why we are here? Some have found refuge in the sheer philosophic nature of this question while others have taken a more scientific approach."
For many, it is hard to imagine the entire universe not existing. However, science has proven that the universe is, in fact, finite, with a beginning, a middle, and a future. According to LaRocco and Blair (2003): "It is easy to get caught up in the large scale of the issue in discussing years by the billions, yet, this time still passes. As we travel through our own individual lives here on Earth, we also travel through the life of our universe."
The big bang theory is the theory that the universe started from a single point, and has been expanding over the course of billions of years. This has been proven by many scientific discoveries, such as the apparent movement of galaxies away from us, and the cosmic microwave background radiation believed to be the remaining light from the big bang.
The evidence for a big bang having taken place about 15 to 20 billion years ago is great, so society tends to believe that it is the case.
However, society questions why the Big Bang happened in the first place, making it more of a religious question than an astronomical one. Many researchers argue that the Big Bang theory confirms the existence of God and the basic elements of the creation story as told in the Bible.
However, many other scientists argue that this is impossible. Some are religious; some are not. They have little agreement as to the "why" questions, making religion a largely debated aspect of the Big Bang theory discussions. Regardless of what one believes, it is hard to argue that the Big Bang theory is a viable attempt to address the metaphysical questions that have haunted us since the dawn of mankind.
Eastman, Mark. Missler, Chuck. The Creator: Beyond Time and Space, (1996) p. 11.
W. Wayt Gibbs, "Profile: George F.R. Ellis," Scientific American, October 1995, Vol. 273, No.4, p. 55.
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