In the lecture on September 19th we discussed the big bang theory and the origin of the universe. The origin of the universe has been a big debate for decades. How did we get here? What came first? Does god play a role in the creation of the universe? Is the universe still expanding? These are all question that people have and will continue to ponder.
There are plenty of myths about how the universe and the earth were created.
One of the most popular theories about how the universe came to be is the big bang theory. In the 1920s Hubble made the observation that all of the galaxies near our own are moving away from us. Hubble further observed that when objects are moving away from us the process makes red light. The redshift of light is evidence that the universe is expanding. It is hard to grapple with an expanding universe. How big is it? Will it continue to grow forever? How does the earth compare to the always-expanding universe?
Hubble’s claim that the universe is always expanding was a new idea in the early 20th century. Up until then many believed that the universe was unchanging. Many thought that if the universe was infinite then you should be able to see light in all directions. This theory makes a lot of sense to me. If the universe was infinite then it would make sense that light would be seen from every angle. However, some may argue that just because you can’t see light doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. There are some factors that contribute to the way we see light from earth. Some may suggest that the distance is just too long and so we can’t see light from earth. Some may argue that the light is obscured in some fashion, or perhaps because the light from the distance hasn’t reached us yet.
I recall during the lecture that the estimated time since the big bang is 13.7 billion years. I didn’t pick up on how this number came to be. It is hard for me to fathom such a large number and such a enormous amount of time. It’s hard to imagine the amount of movement and expansion that has been going on around the earth while we are held together by gravity.
Although the big bang theory is very popular, can we see evidence of the big bang theory? If the big bang theory created space and time then there literally was nothing else before the big bang. If nothing existed before the big bang, this leaves scientists and human curiosity at a stand still. Perhaps we will never know how our universe was created. The creation of the universe is a big question that many will never know the true answer to. This is not a surprise considering the difficulty around this question. Some of the world’s brightest minds couldn’t wrap their heads around the idea. For example Einstein said the universe expanding was the greatest blunder of his life.