Origins of the Earth, Universe, and Life
One of the most giant questions faced by humans including researchers, philosophers, and scientists are the origins of the earth, universe, and life. It is often enquired with the aid of children, and more so, adults, who seek to apprehend the idea better. Despite the work of the many great minds, no man or woman has managed to present a hundred percent convincing arguments up to date. Nevertheless, there are many theories concerning the creation of the universe, with the most popular one being the Big Bang Theory. According to the concept, scientists consider that all matter, space, and the energy in cosmos were squeezed into an infinitesimally tiny extent that erupted in a cataclysmic explosion to form a finite expanding universe. Current estimates indicate that this event took place about 13.7 billion years ago, although one may come across estimates of anywhere between 18 and 11 billion years (Terr, 2013). So far, the theory has survived the test of time, but explanations that are more credible are required to prove that it is not just a product of human imagination just like other theories.
First, unlike Biblical creation theory, Big Bang does not illustrate the very thing that brought the universe into being; instead, it explains universe early stages of development. As noted earlier, the model utilizes ideologies, which state that matter and space were at first part of an infinite-like small point that scientists term as a singularity (Weitekamp, 2017). However, it does not explain how this singularity came into existence, and preferably, it is supposed to have been a result of a random event. Moreover, based on quantum theory, things appeared from zero and then vanished into nothing. In this regard, Big Bang is just a model to convey the way things happened and not a description of the actual explosion. Furthermore, a similar pattern of explosion can be seen from any location in the universe and thus no precise place within the cosmos that can claim to be the origin.
Failure to address the creation itself is what makes the criticizers claim that the model violates the first law of dynamics, which states that energy and matter cannot be destroyed or created (Trefil, 2013). However, without enough evidence of why the first law of thermodynamics should not apply, the concept will remain to be criticized as just an imagination. In addition, now, it is evident that nobody can adequately explain the absolute occurrence of matter. Based on human understanding, the universe should have an equal amount of matter and antimatter. Careful evaluation of this model shows that science laws break down as the universe approach creation, and they are not put into consideration.
The evolution concept that partially explains how the universe came into existence makes some individuals treat Biblical theory as more superior than Big Bang. According to the Christian account, an excellent natural being that subsisted before the existence of cosmos was the creator of everything natural that is here today. The being, also called God, has the power to break or go against the physics and scientific laws, which better explains why they do not apply in during and before creation (Schroeder, 2011). Though also mainly criticized, it at least describes the actual creation, compared to Big Bang that illustrates the evolution. The scientific models fail to explain further about the vacuum that existed and the origin of the space.
Another flaw that makes the theory weak is the light travel time.
Light Travel Time Challenge
Criticizers of Biblical concepts argue that light from the farthest galaxies could not reach Earth within 6,000 years, and therefore, Earth must have lived for over billions of years (Weitekamp, 2017). However, the light travel time cannot be used to support the Big Bang model and rule out the Biblical theory, since it creates the challenges. Nobel laureates, Wilson and Penzias discovered that the planet Earth is submerged in a faint microwave radiation, which comes from the farthest observable distance of the universe. The radiation, also termed as Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), originates from all directions in space and has a particular temperature or is the same everywhere.
Based on arguments of Big Bang theorists, CMB temperatures, during the early universe, were supposed to be different at various locations in space because of the randomized nature of the original conditions. The regions would come to similar temperature, if they were in close contact after exchanging radiation that would carry energy from warmer areas to colder parts until equilibrium is achieved (Weitekamp, 2017). However, even assuming the model timescale, there has not been sufficient time for the light to travel between the vastly separated regions of space. As such, criticizers inquire to be answered how different areas of present CMB have essentially similar temperatures, if they have never interacted with one another.
The theory assumes that it is billions of years old, which is sufficient time for light to travel from galaxies to Earth. However, this timescale does not provide enough period for the light to move from one side of the visible universe to the other (Arp, Keys, & Rudnicki, 2013). At the moment, the light was emitted probably 300,000 years following the big bang; space already had equilibrium temperature that could be estimated to be 10 times greater than the distance supposedly traveled by light. Thus, based on the theory, CMB would not be in existence, which creates horizon problem.
Attempts to overcome horizon problem have been made by several scientists, with the most popular model being inflation that was proposed by Alan Guth in 1981. According to this idea, although regions of universe are not in contact today and are far apart, they were conjoined before inflation phase when cosmos was tiny (Moskowitz, 2010). However, inflation theory is still uncertain, since there are many different models proposed, and consensus has not been reached. Other astronomers reject the inflationary model entirely, and in turn, have offered other scenarios such as ekpyrotic model, which asserts that light took "shortcuts" and null-singularity models in which light traveling speed is suggested to have been greater in the past. In light of all this disagreement, it can only be concluded that horizon has not been amicably solved. As such, it is a weakness of Big Bang theory rather than the strength against Biblical approach.
Lithium Evidence Challenge
Another challenge faced by Big Bang theory is Lithium evidence. According to postulators, a particular amount of light elements including deuterium, helium, and lithium require being produced in an explosion that is stipulated to have started the universe. Lithium was predicted to be 400 particles for every trillion hydrogen particles (Arp et al., 2013). Nevertheless, measurements done by astronomers of lithium abundances in old stars within the Earth galaxy found that the model predictions were incorrect. The evidence shows that stars were formed way before the history of this galaxy, since they have very few amounts of iron and other heavy elements, which are generated by stars that existed earlier. In the majority of these stars, lithium found is about 160 atoms per trillion atoms of hydrogen, a far smaller quantity than that predicted by the Big Bang model.
Additionally, as more evidence unveils as illustrated by several researchers, including Caffau, Bonifacio, and Sbordone, it has become clear that lithium quantity declines with the age of a star. Up to date, eight stars have been discovered that have one-tenth less amount of lithium predicted by the model, and all of them are types that would never destroy lithium. While these findings contradict the Big Bang theory predictions, they are well explained by galactic evolution theories (Weitekamp, 2017). However, observations of both lithium and deuterium match perfectly with the predictions of the Big Bang theory. So far, science has not yet solved this inconsistency, but a recent paper by researchers from China might be the answer to the puzzle. The individuals assert that the discrepancy can be attributed to what is called ideal gas. In contrast with real gas, plasma of early photon contained nuclei that behave differently than postulated. Although it answers the questions that emanate from lithium, the paper has neither been supported by other researchers nor has it been ascertained and instead, it remains as just a proposal of the limited ways to solve the problem.
Evidence Against Dark Matter Challenge
Another challenge is evidence against dark matter. In its current form, the Big Bang model postulates that most matter found within the universe is dark matter. The hypothetical matter is distinct from ordinary neutrons and protons, dark energy, and neutrinos. However, all the current experiments have failed to detect any evidence of dark matter that is predicted by the model. In addition, astronomical evidence has ruled out the existence of dark matter. The postulators and the supporters of the Big Bang theory suggest that the cosmos is made up of five percent of ordinary matter, and the rest is dark matter and energy (NASA, n.d.). To prove the assertions, scientists used the unexpected findings of movement of materials in spiral galaxies. Both dark energy and dark matter are based on the compelling experimental evidence that is provided by observation. Proof from measurement of microwave radiation and universe expansion shows that it is a phenomenon accounted for theoretically.
For those who believe that a vast amount of data has been analyzed and interpreted correctly, dark matter and dark energy can be an indication of modified gravity. Nevertheless, current models of modified gravity do not concur precisely with experimental data when simulations are done under these theories assumptions. In addition, it also poses uncertainties about the usefulness and correctness of modified gravity theories (NASA, n.d.). Furthermore, most of the current methods about modified gravity do not integrate a description of dark energy and matter, which may imply that they may be coming from a misinterpretation of experimental data. Since the data amount is enormous, there is room for different interpretations of modified gravity.
Additionally, the concept of a significant amount of dark matter postulated by the Big Bang theory would produce gravitational forces that were supposed to whip galaxies around at about 100 km/sec. Nonetheless, scientists observed that the average velocities are about 50 km/h, which rules out the massive amount of dark matter required by the Big Bang theory (NASA, n.d.). Moreover, several non-Big Bang ways have been proposed to explain the data. For instance, Green and Peratt illustrated that electromagnetic forces could produce constant rotation velocity in spiral galaxies. It has been used as primary evidence of dark matter by postulators.
Each of the above sets of weaknesses is often overlooked and probably dismissed by the majority as anomalies of a well-supported concept. However, when taken into consideration collectively, they profoundly contradict the predictions of the Big Bang theory, leaving insufficient support. Since its postulation, advocates of this model have been continually adding parameters to account for contradictions. As a result, the concept has been severally adjusted, but still, it has not sufficiently addressed the weaknesses including the earliest ones such as the horizon problem. As such, it lacks what can be termed as a fundamental hallmark of a sound scientific model. Moreover, as compared to the Biblical theory that explains how and why the world and universe came to exist right from the very beginning, Big Bang theory, as noted, starts midway with the formation of a singularity. Both inconsistency and lack of proper explanation about the very beginning of existence makes Big Bang theory weak, especially in the eyes of the three religions of Abraham. In this regard, more credible and consistent evidence is needed to support and explain the argument for it to overcome critics from those opposing the model.
- Arp, H. C., Keys, C. R., & Rudnicki, K. (Eds.). (2013). Progress in new cosmologies: Beyond the big bang. Springer Science & Business Media.
- Moskowitz, C. (2010). Big bang, deflated? Universe may have had no beginning. Live Science. Retrieved on October 10, 2017 from https://www.livescience.com/49958-theory-no-big-bang.html
- NASA. (n.d.). Dark energy, dark matter. NASA. Retrieved on October 10, 2017 from https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy
- Schroeder, G. (2011). Genesis and the Big Bang theory: The discovery of harmony between modern science and the Bible. Kindle Edition, Bantam.
- Terr, D. (2013). The Big Bang theory. Retrieved on October 10, 2017 from http://www.davidterr.com/Philosophy/BigBangTheory.pdf
- Trefil, J. S. (2013). The moment of creation: Big Bang physics from before the first millisecond to the present universe. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications.
- Weitekamp, M. A. (2017). The Big Bang theory. Physics Today, 70(10.1063 PT 3.), 1-40.