Saturday, 9 October 2010

The Big Bang

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The Expansion of the Universe and the Big Bang
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Creation of the Universe
Creation-of-the-UniverseIn the 20th century, great strides were made in the field of astronomy. First, the Russian physicist Alexandre Friedmann discovered in 1922 that the universe did not have a static structure. Starting out from Einstein's theory of relativity, Friedmann calculated that even a tiny impulse might cause the universe to expand or contract. Georges Lemaître, one of the most famous astronomers of Belgium, was the first to recognise the importance of this calculation. These calculations led him to conclude that the universe had a beginning and that it was continuously expanding right from the outset. There was another very important point Lemaître raised: according to him, there should be a radiation surplus left over from the big bang and this could be traced. Lemaître was confident that his explanations were true although they initially did not find much support in the scientific community. Meanwhile, further evidence that the universe was expanding began to pile up. At that time, observing a number of stars through his huge telescope, the American astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that the stars emitted a red shifted light depending on their distances.
With this discovery, which he made at the California Mount Wilson Observa-tory, Hubble challenged all scientists who put forward and defended the steady state theory, and shook the very basis of the model of the universe held until then. Hubble's findings depended on the physical rule that the spectra of light beams travelling towards the point of observation tend towards violet while the spectra of light beams moving away from the point of observation tend towards red. This showed that the celestial bodies observed from the Californian Mount Wilson Observatory were moving away from the earth. Further observation revealed that the stars and galaxies weren't just racing away from us; they were racing away from each other as well. This movement of celestial bodies proved once more that the universe is expanding.
Further observations on the expansion of the universe gave way to new arguments. Starting from this point, scientists ended up with a model of a universe that became smaller as one went back in time, eventually contracting and converging at a single point, as Lemaître had argued. The conclusion to be derived from this model is that at some point in time, all matter in the universe was crushed together in a single point-mass that had "zero volume" because of its immense gravitational force. Our universe came into being as the result of the explosion of this point-mass that had zero volume and this explosion has come to be called the "Big Bang".
The Big Bang pointed to another matter. To say that something has zero volume is tantamount to saying that it is "nothing". The whole universe is created from this "nothing". Furthermore, this universe has a beginning, contrary to the view of materialism, which holds that "the universe has existed from eternity".
Big Bang with Evidence big-Bang
Once the fact that the universe started to form after a great explosion was established, astrophysicists gave a further boost to their researches. According to George Gamow, if the universe was formed in a sudden, cataclysmic explosion, there ought to be a definite amount of radiation left over from that explosion which should be uniform throughout the universe.
In the years following this hypothesis, scientific findings followed one another, all confirming the Big Bang. In 1965, two researchers by the name of Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson chanced upon a form of radiation hitherto unnoticed. Called "cosmic background radiation", it was unlike anything coming from anywhere else in the universe for it was extraordinarily uniform. It was neither localised nor did it have a definite source; instead, it was distributed equally everywhere. It was soon realised that this radiation is the relic of the Big Bang, still reverberating since the first moments of that great explosion. Gamow had been spot-on, for the frequency of the radiation was nearly the same value that scientists had predicted. Penzias and Wilson were awarded the Nobel Prize for their discovery.
It took only eight minutes for George Smoot and his NASA team to confirm the levels of radiation reported by Penzias and Wilson, thanks to the COBE space satellite. The sensitive sensors on board the satellite earned a new victory for the Big Bang theory. The sensors verified the existence of the hot, dense form remaining from the first moments of the Big Bang. COBE captured evidentiary remnants of the Big Bang, and the scientific community was compelled to acknowledge it.
Other evidence had to do with the relative amounts of hydrogen and helium in the universe. Calculations revealed that the proportion of hydrogen-helium gasses in the universe is in accord with theoretical calculations of what should remain after the Big Bang.
The discovery of compelling evidence caused the Big Bang theory to gain the complete approval of the scientific world. In an article in its October 1994 issue, Scientific American noted that "the Big Bang model was the only acknowledged model of the 20th century".
God Created the Universe from Nothing
With ample evidence discovered by science, the thesis of an "infinite universe" was tossed onto the scrap-heap of the history of scientific ideas. Yet, more important questions were forthcoming: what existed before the Big Bang? What force could have caused the great explosion that resulted in a universe that did not exist before?
There is a single answer to be given to the question of what existed before the Big Bang: God, the All-powerful and the Almighty, Who created the earth and the heavens in great order. Many scientists, be they believers or not, are obliged to admit this truth. Although they may decline to admit this fact on scientific platforms, their confessions in between the lines give them away. Renowned atheist philosopher Anthony Flew says:
"Notoriously, confession is good for the soul. I will therefore begin by confessing that the Stratonician atheist has to be embarrassed by the contemporary cosmological consensus. For it seems that the cosmologists are providing a scientific proof of what St. Thomas contended could not be proved philosophically; namely, that the universe had a beginning."
Some scientists like the British materialist physicist H. P. Lipson confess that they have to accept the Big Bang theory whether they want it or not:
"If living matter is not, then, caused by the interplay of atoms, natural forces, and radiation, how has it come into being?... I think, however, that we must...admit that the only acceptable explanation is creation. I know that this is anathema to physicists, as indeed it is to me, but we must not reject that we do not like if the experimental evidence supports it."
In conclusion, science points to a single reality whether materialist scientists like it or not. Matter and time have been created by a Creator, Who is All-Powerful and Who created the heavens, the earth and all that is in between: Almighty God.
It is God who created the seven heavens and of the earth the same number, the Command descending down through all of them, so that you might know that God has power over all things and that God encompasses all things in His knowledge. (Qur'an, 65: 12)