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Thread: Question for the minds greater than mine

  1. #1 Question for the minds greater than mine 
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    To start: I'm no expert. In anything. I claim no special status in the world, I'm just a lowly electronics student trying to get good grades so I can land a decent job as a technician.

    But anybody that knows me knows that I have one of the most curious minds ever- I love to think, i love to read, learn, find out how the world around me works and why. I love to bend my mind in strange ways for the sake of learning.

    This question is for the Academic hard hitters out there- the people that have spent their entire lives studying their special areas of interest and have attained levels of wisdom and insight that I will likely never enjoy.

    The most widely accepted theory in the scientific community as to the origin of the universe is the Big Bang. We're all familiar with it- that there was a volume of mass that was the total mass of the entire universe that exploded, causing the expanding universe of galaxies, stars and planets we all know and love.

    There seems to be a logical problem to this idea- mass doesnt spontaneously explode on such a massive level.

    The way i see it, this object that blew up had to be incredibly unstable to blow up and casue the universe- if it were stable, then there would be no explosion, right? So either this object appeared out of nowhere in a very unstable condition, found itself in an existence that only made its instability worse, then blew up, OR there was an object that had existed forever in an apparently perfectly stable condition that suddenly and for no reason became unstable.

    thus it seems to mean that you either had an object appear from nowhere or you had an explosion with no cause. It seems that the Big Bang is a giant "getting something from nothing" idea.

    I want a REASONABLE, RATIONAL, LOGICAL, SCIENTIFIC answer to this supposed discrepancy in the idea of the big bang, or I want someone to give an even more REASONABLE, RATIONAL, LOGICAL, SCIENTIFIC alternative to why the universe exists. is anybody up to the challenge?


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  3. #2 Re: Question for the minds greater than mine 
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    Welcome to the forum. You do notice that there is already a lot of discussion going on about that in other threads.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bosscheese
    The most widely accepted theory in the scientific community as to the origin of the universe is the Big Bang.
    Indeed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bosscheese
    We're all familiar with it- that there was a volume of mass that was the total mass of the entire universe that exploded, causing the expanding universe of galaxies, stars and planets we all know and love.
    It seems that you are not as familiar with it as you think. Nobody knows, how the universe began, nor do we know what the cause was. A "volume of mass" is certainly not part of that hypothesis. And there certainly was no explosion that triggered the begin of the universe - at least not as you might imagine it. For a normal explosion to happen you would need some space where that matter could expand into. But for all that we know, it was space itself that abruptly started expanding, and it continues to do so today. The cause is completely unknown. Even if it is called "Dark Energy", nobody knows, what it is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bosscheese
    There seems to be a logical problem to this idea- mass doesnt spontaneously explode on such a massive level.
    Since your paradox depends on your previous assumptions, it nicely resolves, although new problems arise.


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  4. #3  
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    Ok- fair enough I dont know enough about it. But like i said I'm no expert.

    There still seems to be a lot of problems witht he idea though, after all if it were crystal clear, then everybody would be in agreement on the whole thing. If there is so much doubt, then why does every single TV special you see on the universe say that it happened?

    Here's what sparked this sudden interest in this for me: the other night I watched COSMIC VOYAGE narrated by Morgan Freeman. it wasnt really meant to have any real detailed information about any one subject- it just kind've touches on a subject for a second then moves on. i started looking for more detailed documentaris on the Big Bang, and none of them seemed to be any better. Every single one of them- in a nutshell- just sorta says "The Big Bang Happened" There's no information on why, how, where, and only a good guess on when. It doesnt seem to me that an idea thats so incredibly vague should ever be so widely taught.

    really- in a court case, if you cant give a detailed explaination of the why, how and where, you cant possibly win

    Sounds a lot to me like saying "I cant prove this beyond a reasonable doubt, I dont really know for sure, but accept it anyway!"
    No idea is untouchable. If an idea is infallible, then everyody on earth can test it and learn its truth- it can stand on its own merit. If an idea must be defended and is not allowed to be questioned, then the idea should never be accepted, for it is zealotry.
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  5. #4  
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    Big Bang theory describes what happened AFTER the event. It says nothing at all about how the start happened, what preceeded it, or what made it happen. That's just the way it is.
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  6. #5  
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    Ok- so some event happened, and the Big Bang resulted.

    That seems to make matters all the worse, because then you're asking me to accept that something happened, but with THIS event, you cant answer why, where, how or even when. You're asking people to accept an idea with absolutely zero backing.

    Why then, is this such a widespread idea? For all anybody knows about whatever caused the Big Bang, any idea i can come up with is just as scientificly valid as the next. thats not science- thats just dumb guessing.
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  7. #6  
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    I'll repeat. Read it carefully...

    Big Bang theory describes what happened AFTER the event. It says nothing at all about how the start happened, what preceeded it, or what made it happen.
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  8. #7  
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    And I repeat:

    THE BIG BANG WAS A STIMULAS, NOT A CAUSE, BECASUE YOU CANT HAVE A CAUSE WITHOUT A STIMULAS I AGREE THAT THERE WAS SOME EVENT THAT PRECEEDED THE BIG BANG. WHATEVER EVENT PRECEEDE IT HAD TO HAVE BEEN THE CAUSE, OR ELSE YOU ARE SAYING THAT THE BIG BANG HAPPENED WITHOUT A CAUSE

    I repeat: I agree with you that there was an event that preceeded the Big Bang and I agree with you that the big Bang was what FOLLOWED that event. Obviously the two are related in that one was the stimulas, and the other was the resulting cause. Other wise, had there been no event BEFORE the Big Bang, there would have been NO BIG BANG.

    The problem is that absolutely NOTHING is known about the event that happened BEFORE the big bang(again still in agreement with you) so we are to just accept without question or thought an event that we know nothing about?

    Actually, i'll just make this a bit simpler. Since we know nothing about this event that preceeded the big bang, and since any idea is just as good as the next, I declare that the event preceeding the Big Bang was the Cause of the Big Bang. I stand by this until proven wrong.

    So, the Big bang was a result and not a cause. Tell me why I should accept this idea at all if nobody knows anything about the cause?
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    Ok I just had a thought- mabey i just misunderstood what MeteorWayne said, after all, saying something and then repeating it in bold in the assumption that the recipient will understand your point doesnt do a great job of conveying your ideas. So If I'm misunderstanding what you're trying to say, then please clarify MeteorWayne.
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  10. #9  
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    Big Bang theory describes the development of the Uinverse AFTER the instant of the infinitely dense, hot state. It is the expansion and cooling of the Universe since then. It does not decribe how that state came to be, as that is outside of the phyics we can access. There are a number of hypotheses about how that state came to be, but since we can't access it, they are all pure speculation, and they PRECEDE the Big Bang.

    Wayne
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosscheese
    Ok I just had a thought- mabey i just misunderstood what MeteorWayne said, after all, saying something and then repeating it in bold in the assumption that the recipient will understand your point doesnt do a great job of conveying your ideas. So If I'm misunderstanding what you're trying to say, then please clarify MeteorWayne.
    You have misunderstood everything that anyone in this thread has said. You have also completely misunderstood what is meant by the big bang and the basis for the big bang hypothesis. You are responding to good information on the basis of a bunch of false premises.

    I suggest that you do some reading. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking would be a good place to start. Follow that with The Road to Reality by Roger Penrose.
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  12. #11  
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    Ok- so I have missed the mark entirely on the big bang. The big bang wasnt the event itself that started everything, it is the end result and its the leading theory as to why the universe is what it is, how it is what it is, and what it is what it is.

    For the record, again, I'm no specialist in this area. My understanding if this topic is the understanding of your everyday common person. the everyday common understanding of this idea is the concept of a giant explosion.

    The initial event was something along the lines of an infinitely hot, infinitely dense(for lack of any better term) object that just started expanding. What caused this event is anybody's best bloody guess because its outside the ability of physics to determine.

    How is this assesment so far?
    No idea is untouchable. If an idea is infallible, then everyody on earth can test it and learn its truth- it can stand on its own merit. If an idea must be defended and is not allowed to be questioned, then the idea should never be accepted, for it is zealotry.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosscheese
    Ok- so I have missed the mark entirely on the big bang. The big bang wasnt the event itself that started everything, it is the end result and its the leading theory as to why the universe is what it is, how it is what it is, and what it is what it is.

    For the record, again, I'm no specialist in this area. My understanding if this topic is the understanding of your everyday common person. the everyday common understanding of this idea is the concept of a giant explosion.

    The initial event was something along the lines of an infinitely hot, infinitely dense(for lack of any better term) object that just started expanding. What caused this event is anybody's best bloody guess because its outside the ability of physics to determine.

    How is this assesment so far?
    That may well be the common misconception. It is still completely wrong. Go read the recommended books.
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    Its probably a good I dea for me to note as well, that I veiw the world on a very strict cause/effect basis. A capacitor doesnt short out without a cause, a transistor doesnt explode withot a cause, putting a resistor in parallel with a circuit has the effect of increasing current and decreasing resistance, if a fuse blows, then it means that something had to have happened in a circuit to cause that fuse to blow.

    I've never seen an effect without cause or a cause without effect. What I'm driving at is that the Big bang occured. The event or events preceeding the big bang occured. These are causes and effects. What I'm driving at is that if you chase down this big bang idea long enough, sooner or later, for the whole thing to be taken seriously, you need to explain the cause of the whole bloody process. So If you have hit a brick wall and cant explain beyond a certain point, then mabey you've hit the point that you should consider other alternatives and start investigating those.

    Focusing on only one single idea blinds you to other possibilities.
    No idea is untouchable. If an idea is infallible, then everyody on earth can test it and learn its truth- it can stand on its own merit. If an idea must be defended and is not allowed to be questioned, then the idea should never be accepted, for it is zealotry.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosscheese
    Its probably a good I dea for me to note as well, that I veiw the world on a very strict cause/effect basis. A capacitor doesnt short out without a cause, a transistor doesnt explode withot a cause, putting a resistor in parallel with a circuit has the effect of increasing current and decreasing resistance, if a fuse blows, then it means that something had to have happened in a circuit to cause that fuse to blow.

    I've never seen an effect without cause or a cause without effect. What I'm driving at is that the Big bang occured. The event or events preceeding the big bang occured. These are causes and effects. What I'm driving at is that if you chase down this big bang idea long enough, sooner or later, for the whole thing to be taken seriously, you need to explain the cause of the whole bloody process. So If you have hit a brick wall and cant explain beyond a certain point, then mabey you've hit the point that you should consider other alternatives and start investigating those.

    Focusing on only one single idea blinds you to other possibilities.
    Go read the books. You are talking nonsense and don't realize it.
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  16. #15  
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    So the universe expanding wasnt the result of something?
    No idea is untouchable. If an idea is infallible, then everyody on earth can test it and learn its truth- it can stand on its own merit. If an idea must be defended and is not allowed to be questioned, then the idea should never be accepted, for it is zealotry.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosscheese
    So the universe expanding wasnt the result of something?
    Nope. Not as far as is understood. You need to first understand the theory before you criticize it. There is no "before" so there can be no cause. There are more speculative theories that address "before" and "cause". In fact current theory does not describe anything very clearly until about t + 10^-33 sec. There is zero evidence supporting the speculative theories. There is a mountain of evidence supporting the limited scope of the big bang.

    Now read a book before you comment further on that which you do not understand. The theory is way too subtle to be explained here.
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  18. #17  
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    This "common misconception" is probably what makes so many people cry out, "It was god that created the universe!".

    Please tell us that you are not here looking to prove it was god that created the universe!
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Now read a book before you comment further on that which you do not understand. The theory is way too subtle to be explained here.
    Dr. rocket may be correct in this assessment, but I believe I may be able to help you get some clarity. You are rightly interested in what may have caused the Big Bang. In short, how did the universe begin? That is an important question, however, Big Bang Theory has absolutely nothing to say in answer to that question. Big Bang Theory is about the early history of the universe, not about its origin. (Obviously the early history is connected to the origin and the character of the Big Bang offers hints and suggestions as to that origin at the same time as it places constraints on it.)

    So stop remonstrating against the failure of the Big Bang to explain the origin of the universe: that's not what it's about. Just as atomic theory does not give any explanation for the migratory patterns of South African Swallows, nor can we deduce decompression rates for scuba divers from Darwin's theory of evolution, Big Bang theory will not offer us a solution as to origin.

    Once you can accept this you will likely see that the volumes of evidence from a mutiplicity of directions and disciplines provide detailed confirmation of Big Bang theory. So it is not the case that we are "asking people to accept an idea with absolutely zero backing."

    I hope that helps.
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  20. #19  
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    Let's start with your first misconception as stated in aprevious post

    "The initial event was something along the lines of an infinitely hot, infinitely dense(for lack of any better term) object that just started expanding."

    If you replace object with universe, then you get the idea. It wasn't an object or a place that exploded or started expanding; IT WAS THE WHOLE UNIVERSE.

    if you want to clearly understand modern cosmological theory, you must realise that space and time BEGIN at the moment of the big bang. You keep asking for the cause that results in the event called the big bang, ie the cause preceeding the big bang, but if we agree that time begins at the big bang, THERE IS NO BEFORE because time hadn't begun yet.
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  21. #20  
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    Yeah. The mass in the universe was infinitely hot, but the mass's heat didn't cause the expansion, nor (probably) did the mass cause the expansion. The container holding that mass (the empty space in the universe) is what expanded. Once there was more empty space, the mass had somewhere to go. Until then there was nowhere for it to go, so it had to just stay hot.

    It's the "container" that is considered to still be expanding today.

    Unfortunately, there is no known reason for the expansion. It's observed to happen, and those observations are pretty solid, but nobody knows why it's happening or what caused it or even what is continuing to drive it. Any theory attempting to explain why is going to be purely speculative.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    Kojax, for someone who is supposedly studying physics ....

    There was no container, no mass no nothing at time zero. The whole universe, space and matter or energy or what have you, was either singular or as close as possible to a singularity ( within a Planck length ) before expansion/inflation began. If you know what it was composed of ( quantum foam ???), you're well on your way to a theory of quantum gravity, and I don't think you are.
    There would not have been an event horizon surrrounding this singularity since the event horizon isolates a black hole singularity from the rest of the universe, but, in the case of the big bang singularity, it was composed of THE WHOLE UNIVERSE.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MigL
    Kojax, for someone who is supposedly studying physics ....

    There was no container, no mass no nothing at time zero. The whole universe, space and matter or energy or what have you, was either singular or as close as possible to a singularity ( within a Planck length ) before expansion/inflation began. If you know what it was composed of ( quantum foam ???), you're well on your way to a theory of quantum gravity, and I don't think you are.
    There would not have been an event horizon surrrounding this singularity since the event horizon isolates a black hole singularity from the rest of the universe, but, in the case of the big bang singularity, it was composed of THE WHOLE UNIVERSE.
    I was trying to make it understandible. That's why I put the word "container" in quotes. Expansion is expansion of space, not matter. Originally there was no space at all, just a lot of matter/energy all concentrated in one point, but the mass/energy hasn't increased since (or well.... I guess nobody knows if it has... but the BBT doesn't require it to have increased). The space, on the other hand, has increased quite a lot.

    Admittedly, there was no matter in the sense of particles and atoms and such until the space around all that energy had grown sufficiently vast to allow for it, but .... I'm trying to describe things to Mr. Cheese one step at a time. Mass-energy equivalence is a topic for another day.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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