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Monday, 17 March 2014

Big Bang Bother For Bible Believers

BBC News - BBC explains Big Bang discovery using a sock

Once again, when scientist shone a light in a gap in our understanding they found no god in it. And shining a light in this case is especially apt, as it was light that was analysed. There is even talk of a Nobel Prize. While, as is normal with significant science, the results are to be subjected to intense scrutiny and other teams will try to replicate them, it looks very much as though scientists of the PICEP2 Project led by Prof John Kovac of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have found the data verifying the inflation model of the Big Bang.

Inflation was basically inserted in the Big Bang theory as the best explanation for things not quite adding up. It proposed that, during the initial few moments of the Big Bang, the Universe expanded exponentially at faster than light speed until it was about the size of a marble. Not much of an inflation you might think, but bear in mind a fraction of a billionth of a second earlier, the entire Universe had been packed into something so small that it would have been indistinguishable from nothing. What inflation did was offer an explanation of how the three 'quantum' forces of weak and strong nuclear forces and electromagnetism became stripped away from the fourth, gravity, allowing the Universe to continue to expand and not collapse immediately under its own gravity. Basically, gravity had lost control. This went a long way to explaining why we have something from nothing. The total of the three 'quantum' forces exactly equates to gravity, so, in terms of fundamental forces, the Universe was and still is zero.

The problem was, it was an educated guess the best evidence for which was that nothing seemed to contradict it and it explained a great deal. This is, of course, only circumstantial evidence - not enough to convict in a court of law. What was needed was the smoking gun.

Planes of polarisation in the CMB
Now we very probably have it in the form of a detailed and meticulous analysis of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) which is the echo of the original heat energy of the Big Bang. The discovery of the CMB was the final evidence for the Big Bang because it was predicted by it. The Big Bang idea itself was a natural projection backwards from the observed rate of expansion of the Universe. Now, this new evidence shows what happened to the initial radiation during the period of inflation. As predicted, it shows that it was subject to intense gravity waves which caused it to polarise.

This is spectacular. I've seen the research; the arguments are persuasive, and the scientists involved are among the most careful and conservative people I know.

Prof Marc Kamionkowski, Johns Hopkins University
Polarisation of light means that, instead of all the waves vibrating in a random distribution of angles, they all vibrate in the same plane. The breakthrough research has detected beyond reasonable doubt this pattern of polarisation and it is entirely consistent with both inflation and the splitting away of gravity from the other three forces.

Why is this important? Well, apart from confirming that inflation happened, so our model of the first fraction of a second of the Big Bang is almost certainly correct, it confirms the explanation of how vast amounts of energy (hence matter) can come from nothing. It also moves a little closer to the Holy Grail of theoretical physics, the Grand Unified Theory which would integrate quantum mechanics and relativity.

Of course, not that there has ever been a shadow of a doubt in the minds of anyone who knows anything about cosmology, it knocks on the head any daft notions of magic or a magic man being involved and it all happening just a few thousand years ago, no matter how attractive that simplistic notion might be to childish mind. No doubt though, creationist pseudo-scientist frauds will think up a strategy for dismissing it which will include any or all of lying about it, character assassination of the scientists involved, rubbishing science in general, simply dismissing it as wrong because it isn't in the Bible, or ignoring it altogether. But, they will never come up with any authentic evidence for their own daft notion.

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  1. Hey, I just discovered this blog. You're brilliant :) I used to be a YEC, so it's nice to see your shredding their claims.

  2. Seth

    Thank you. Glad you like it.


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