Greg’s Note: Here is a brief, yet very interesting description of the Big Bang from a secular point of view:
Yes, the Big Bang is the name of a rock group. But more importantly, it is the name of one of the theories of the origin of the universe. It is a widely accepted theory, but also has been under some attacks recently.
When discussing the origin of the universe, there is always the confrontation between the theists and the atheists. Theists believe essentially that God created the universe, or at least some “Intelligent Designer” did. Atheists hold that the universe has been eternal and needed no Creator. This argument has raged for centuries.
However, due to more recent discoveries such as galactic motion and proton decay, scientists have come to believe with certainty that the universe, at some point, actually began. The final nail was the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Based on this, physicists feel that there are only two plausible explanations for the origin of the universe. First, someone made the universe (intelligent design) or second, the universe made itself (random chance).
The third option, favored by the atheists, that the universe has always been here, is too contradictory of empirical science. No other plausible theory has ever been proposed. The implications of this are wild, and have led to the proposition of the Big Bang theory, which, at its heart, is an atheistic theory.
We know that the universe did have a beginning. Before that, there was nothing…no time, space, matter, energy, nothing. The theory says that our universe sprang into being as a singularity some 13 or 14 billion years ago. We really do not know what a singularity is, because they really defy our current understanding of physics. They are thought to exist at the core of black holes, which are areas of intense gravitational pressures. The pressure is thought to be so intense that finite matter is compacted into infinite density. This is, of course, only a mathematic concept. These zones of infinite density are singularities.
Our universe is believed to have begun as an infinitely small, infinitely dense and infinitely hot singularity. We do not know where it came from, nor do we know why it appeared. The theory says that after the initial appearance, it inflated (the Big Bang, which may or may not have been an actual explosion), expanded and cooled, until the universe as we now know it existed. We do know that this expansion and cooling continues to this day, and is represented by the aforementioned Second Law of Thermodynamics.
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