Friday, April 25, 2014

What About the "Bang"?

The Big Bang theory was established from observations of the structure of the Universe and from theoretical considerations. Many people contributed its establishment, but the one person who first proposed the Big Bang itself was Monseigneur Lemaitre, a Belgian Roman Catholic priest, astronomer and professor of physics. Lemaitre saw that the Universe is expanding and noted that if one works backwards, the Universe must have come from one small region, the “primeval atom.” From this model arose many questions, one of them being: “Where did the Universe come from?” Many theories have attempted to explain why the Big Bang
occurred, but all none are convincing, and has left me wondering what is the truth.

In the process of finding an answer, a debate among two groups, theists and atheists, has progressively build up, with both proposing different arguments on what happened at the time of the “bang” or even before. Yet, up to now, no answer has been revealed.

Many ideas have been proposed. However, the two groups that stand out the most are: atheists, and theist. Atheists and theists have their own beliefs, and in order to prove that their beliefs are correct there must be concrete evidence that demonstrates what they propose is true.

Atheists generally rely on science to explain the natural world, but the key is that many theories lie outside the domain of scientific testability, and one cannot use the scientific method to evaluate them. Thus, one atheistic argument is presented in the book Atheism, Theism, and Big Bang Cosmology. Quentin Smith highlights two theological premises, “(1) If God exists and there is an earliest state E of the universe, then God created E. (2) If God created E, then E is ensured either to contain animate creatures or to lead to a subsequent state of the universe that contains animate creatures.” With the use of the two theological premises Smith provides 6 other premises in order to argue that God could not have created the earliest state of the universe. And with all premises together Smith comes to the conclusion that if this cosmology is true, our Universe exists without cause and without explanation, believing that the origin of our Universe does not need divine intervention.

In the other hand, theists are certain that divine intervention created the Universe. Theists believe that nothing can cause itself, and since the string of causes can’t be indefinitely long, there must be a first cause, God. As stated by William Lane Craig, “1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence. 2) The Universe began to exist. 3) Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence.”

Moreover, what happened before and who/what initiated the Big bang is still in debate. And after thoughtful consideration, I believe that one day we will be able to gain evidence of what initiated the “bang.” But we will have to wait. Maybe years, decades, or centuries…
Dalia Dorantes