The Universe is Not Eternal, But Had A Beginning

by Rich Deem

I recently received an e-mail claiming that most scientists do not believe that the Big Bang represents the beginning of the universe. Other visitors to the site have made similar claims in the past, so I thought it would be a good idea to set the record straight about the origin of the universe. Although there are atheistic scientists who believe that the universe existed before the Big Bang, I must make it clear that they present no evidence for this belief, since none exists! This kind of belief is metaphysical in nature as indicated in an article from the The Origin-of-Life Foundation, Inc.®:

“Appeals to multiple or ‘parallel’ cosmoses or to an infinite number of cosmic ‘Big Bang/Crunch’ oscillations as essential elements of proposed mechanisms are not acceptable in submissions due to a lack of empirical correlation and testability. Such beliefs are without hard physical evidence and must therefore be considered unfalsifiable, currently outside the methodology of scientific investigation to confirm or disprove, and therefore more mathematically theoretical and metaphysical than scientific in nature. Recent cosmological evidence also suggests insufficient mass for gravity to reverse continuing cosmic expansion. The best cosmological evidence thus far suggests the cosmos is finite rather than infinite in age.”1

Such metaphysical beliefs are often incorporated in popular books about cosmology, although it is seldom stated that those beliefs are without any evidence. Here are some quotes from university websites by scientists who know that the universe had a beginning:

  • “The conclusion of this lecture is that the universe has not existed forever. Rather, the universe, and time itself, had a beginning in the Big Bang, about 15 billion years ago.” Stephen Hawking The Beginning of Time
  • “Scientists generally agree that “the Big Bang” birthed the universe about 15 billion years ago.” Tom Parisi, Northern Illinois University
  • “As a result of the Big Bang (the tremendous explosion which marked the beginning of our Universe), the universe is expanding and most of the galaxies within it are moving away from each other.” CalTech
  • “The Big Bang model of the universe’s birth is the most widely accepted model that has ever been conceived for the scientific origin of everything.” Stuart Robbins, Case Western Reserve University
  • “Many once believed that the universe had no beginning or end and was truly infinite. Through the inception of the Big Bang theory, however, no longer could the universe be considered infinite. The universe was forced to take on the properties of a finite phenomenon, possessing a history and a beginning.” Chris LaRocco and Blair Rothstein, University of Michigan
  • “The scientific evidence is now overwhelming that the Universe began with a “Big Bang” ~15 billion (15,000,000,000 or 15E9) years ago.” “The Big Bang theory is the most widely accepted theory of the creation of the Universe.” Dr. van der Pluijm, University of Michigan
  • “The present location and velocities of galaxies are a result of a primordial blast known as the BIG BANG. It marked: THE BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE! THE BEGINNING OF TIME!” Terry Herter, Cornell University
  • “That radiation is residual heat from the Big Bang, the event that sparked the beginning of the universe some 13 billion years ago.” Craig Hogan, University of Washington

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The Universe is Not Eternal, But Had A Beginning

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