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Q: Cosmology ( Answered,   3 Comments )
Subject: Cosmology
Category: Science > Astronomy
Asked by: madnomad-ga
List Price: $51.00
Posted: 25 Apr 2005 13:30 PDT
Expires: 25 May 2005 13:30 PDT
Question ID: 514046
How was the universe created? Exactly how old is it? When and how will it end?

Clarification of Question by madnomad-ga on 26 Apr 2005 07:59 PDT
Can you please focus on recent scientitic views?
Subject: Re: Cosmology
Answered By: guillermo-ga on 29 Apr 2005 05:09 PDT
Hello madnomad-ga,

The comment by toufaroo-ga made an excellent first step towards the
answer you request. In order to introduce ourselves in the scientific
approaches while ruling out the religious views, please let me precise
that while literalist creationists do oppose to the Big Bang
explanation for the origin of the Universe, other religions welcomed
it as a prove of the Creation. That is because the dominant scientific
thinking before the Big Bang theory acquired consensus was that the
universe had no beginning or end, thus it could have never been
"created", while the Big Bang theory apparently determines a precise
moment when universe -and time itself- starts, providing the divine
creation case with scientific arguments. (About that, while searching
for this subject I came across a very interesting and well informed
Islamic website:

Now, this leads me to consider that the word creation holds the tricky
aspect of allowing the presumption of a creator, so in order to stand
by the rigor of the scientific approach let me prefer the word
"origin" of the universe.

Indeed, the currently dominant explanation of the universe, the
Standard Big Bang Theory, does state an origin and estimates an age
for the *universe*, defined as "the totality of all space, time,
matter, and energy" (
). A distinction to be made is that the origin of "all what exists" in
the universe as we know it, does not necessarily mean the origin of
"any" existence -challenging those religious views that see in the big
bang a prove for divine creation. The point is that the theory admits
a "before" the big bang, "something" that "exploded", and that
something is called *singularity*, "an incredibly hot and dense
region" for which it is uncertain where it came from, what were its
properties, or *how old it was*, the latter in the case that time
meant something in that beginning (Origin of the Universe, lecture by
Stephen T. Abedon:

Now, let's address specifically your first question under this theory's light.

>How was the universe created?<

First, let me rephrase it according to the criterion previously
expressed concerning the word "creation":

>How was the process of origination of the universe?<

(From now on: The figures between angle brackets are powers; negative
powers represent values lower than one, as many positions after the
point as the absolute value of the exponent; positive powers represent
values equal or higher than one, followed by as many zeros as the
power indicates. References: s = seconds; yr = year; Myr = Mega year =
one million year; Gyr = Giga year = one billion year; ~ =

"In the beginning there was singularity"
), i.e. an infinitely small spot, infinitely dense, infinitely hot and
physically paradoxal (not describable by Einstein's relativity). Big
Bang starts. After a period of 10 <-43> seconds (Plank time, "the
smallest measure possible of time": ) it grew up to 10<-33>
centimeters in size, region that can now be described under general
relativity. At Plank time, "inflation" begins, step in the process in
which all of the potential energy of the universe is imparted. "The
inflationary model . . . proposes that the universe ballooned by a
factor of 10<50> to about the size of a grapefruit in 10<-32>
seconds." (Crowe, 1995: http://www.mansfield.ohio- ) "It is thought that the
very early rate of expansion of the universe was much faster than it
could have been had gravity existed (...) that the very early universe
was so hot and dense that gravity did not exist during this period of
inflation (...) Thus other forces, or even what was to be gravity,
were free to drive a rapid, early expansion of the universe. (...)
very early in the universe momentum was applied to the outwardly
expanding universal stuff that could not have been applied had the
universe been operating under the physical laws (constraints) that the
subsequent (cooler and/or larger) universe now operates under (...)The
energy imparted during inflation represents essentially all the energy
known in the entire universe (...) In a very real sense, the energy
you derive from your lunch was literally created during the extremely
brief inflation stage of the big bang, approximately 8 to 15 billion
years ago."  (Abedon's Lecture: )

At time 10 <-33> inflation ends, while expansion continues at a lower
rate, and as gases expand a process of cooling (condensation of
matter) begins.

An important consequence of cooling of the universe is that subatomic
particles were able to condense into the matter that we recognize in
the universe today. These are such things as electrons, neutrons, and
As a consequence of cooling, at a temperature of about 10<15> degree
Kelvin (100 million times the temperature of the Sun's core) subatomic
particles begin to condense into the matter as we know it today:
electrons, neutrons, protons, about 1 minute since singularity. In a
period of hundreds of thousands to one million years particles into
hydrogen atoms first, then helium and lithium. Temperature is about
3,000 Kelvin.

The "inhomogeneities" -regions of higher density- served as gravity
sources for the formation of atoms, stars and galaxies.

Formation of the first stars: 100-200 million years after the Big Bang.
Explosions of the first supernovae spreading carbon, nitrogen, oxygen,
silicon, magnesium, iron, and so on up through uranium throughout the
Universe. Clusters of galaxies form. The solar system and sun forms
about 9.1 billion years from Big Bang.


Origin of the Universe, lecture by Stephen T. Abedon:

Brief History of the Universe:

>Exactly how old is the universe?<

According to measurements based on the Big Bang theory, the time now
would be 13.7 Gyr after the Big Bang. (Brief History of the Universe: ) However, given the
different measurement methods, and the different assumptions due to
the diverse models for the same Standard Theory, the determination of
ages vary.

>When and how will the universe end?<

There are different theories. For some time a widely accepted
proposition was that of an eventual Big Crunch - a conception
symmetric to the Big Bang, based on the assumption that matter density
would eventually produce a gravitational collapse. This had led to a
different bouncing models describing a never-ending cyclical or
oscillating process from Big Bang to Big Crunch to Big Bang again.
However, since recent observations seem to have stated as a fact that
the universe is not only still expanding but that expansion is
accelerating, a different theory called Big Rip, supposing all
components of the universe tearing apart is concealing the scientific
communities attention. According to one of its models, the Big Rip
would occur in about 20 Gyr, i.e. 35 Gyrs from Big Bang (Phantom
Energy and Cosmic Doomsday: )

I hope to have met your expectations. Please do not hesitate to ask
for clarification if you need so. Thanks for asking.



Clarification of Answer by guillermo-ga on 29 Apr 2005 05:48 PDT
Google Search strateties:

"origin of the universe", "age of the universe", "end of the
universe", in all cases without the words: god, creationist,
creationism, bible, religion.

To build a wider panorama in order to understand the general issue, I
also consulted other sources which I offer to you, in case you were
interested in further information:

From Wikipedia:

For a curious eventual consequence of further more accurate
measurements that could lead to revision of the Big Bang theory:

For a 1995 model with neither Big Bang nor beginning of times:
Subject: Re: Cosmology
From: toufaroo-ga on 25 Apr 2005 16:30 PDT
Answer to all three of your questions:  we don't know.

There are theories for the first two, and they seem to follow two
schools of thought - people who believe in creation and people who
believe in evolution.

The creationists believe the universe was created a la the Book of
Genesis in the Bible.  God created the world in six days, rested on
the seventh day.  To get specific details of this account, find a copy
of the Bible, read the first Book.  You can also try for a very pro-creationist.

The other theory is the Big Bang Theory.  "The Big Bang Theory is the
dominant scientific theory about the origin of the universe. According
to the big bang, the universe was created sometime between 10 billion
and 20 billion years ago from a cosmic explosion that hurled matter
and in all directions.
In 1927, the Belgian priest Georges Lemaître was the first to propose
that the universe began with the explosion of a primeval atom. His
proposal came after observing the red shift in distant nebulas by
astronomers to a model of the universe based on relativity. Years
later, Edwin Hubble found experimental evidence to help justify
Lemaître's theory. He found that distant galaxies in every direction
are going away from us with speeds proportional to their distance.

"The big bang was initially suggested because it explains why distant
galaxies are traveling away from us at great speeds. The theory also
predicts the existence of cosmic background radiation (the glow left
over from the explosion itself). The Big Bang Theory received its
strongest confirmation when this radiation was discovered in 1964 by
Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, who later won the Nobel Prize for this

"Although the Big Bang Theory is widely accepted, it probably will
never be proved; consequentially, leaving a number of tough,
unanswered questions."


I warn you - there are no cold hard facts out there.  Unfortunately,
everything one group presents as evidence, another group discounts for
whatever reason.  For instance, elementary school science teaches that
the Grand Canyon was carved out over thousands and thousands of years
of the Colorado River slowly eroding the basin below.  Creationists
would probably point out the "mini" canyon, 1000 ft wide and 140 feet
deep, on the North Side of Mount St. Helens was carved in a matter of
hours from the rush of lava.  What's to say the Great Floods didn't
carve out the Grand Canyon in the same manner?  So you see, it is a
never ending debate.  Both sides have valid arguments, and for now,
it's unfortunately pure theory.
Subject: Re: Cosmology
From: poet-ga on 26 Apr 2005 04:48 PDT
The previous comment takes a very christian-centric view of
creationism - consequently narrow and biased.

There are lots of other religion-based views of creation - the
aboriginal version is nice for example.  I suspect (though I do not
know) that all cultures have creation fables.

All bunk of course (unless you're from mid-west USA and have never
travelled) - though that in turn is JMHO.

Subject: Re: Cosmology
From: rnt20-ga on 06 May 2005 08:19 PDT
Note that we can observe the fireball of the big-bang, so we can see
that it really happened.

Because light travels at a finite speed (the speed of light) it takes
time for light to reach us. Light emitted by an object a billion
light-years away has taken a billion years to reach us, so we see
these objects as they were a billion years ago. Astronomers see plenty
of galaxies as far away as 10 billion light-years, so we know for
certain that the universe is at least 10 billion years old (this
doesn't tell us anything about how old the Earth is of course!).

Now one of the most interesting things, is that if you look 14 billion
light-years away in any direction you see a (red-shifted) image of a
fireball (red-shifted to microwave frequencies by the expansion of the
Universe). What this means is that the Universe was entirely filled
with hot gas 14 billion years ago. This hot gas is called the "Big
Bang", because it looks like a big explosion. All the galaxies in the
Universe were accelerating away from each other after after this "Big

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