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Hypothesis Of The Primeval Atom

Shows slices of expansion of universe without ...

According to the Big Bang model, the Universe expanded from an extremely dense and hot state and continues to expand today. A common analogy explains that space itself is expanding, carrying galaxies with it, like raisins in a rising loaf of bread. The graphic scheme above is an artist's concept illustrating the expansion of a portion of a flat Universe.

Monsignor Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître a Roman Catholic priest and professor of astronomy and physics published a paper in the Annals of the Scientific Society of Brussels with the title A homogeneous Universe of constant mass and growing radius accounting for the radial velocity of extragalactic nebulae. His paper described an expanding universe, beating Edwin Hubble by 2 years, and provided the first observational estimation of what became known as the Hubble constant. Lemaître didn’t realize what would happen if you ran is theory of an expanding universe backwards but 4 years later he introduced his Hypothesis Of The Primeval Atom which later became known as the Big Bang Theory due to a sarcastic comment by Fred Hoyle since this directly contradicted his pet steady state theory. Hoyle’s main objection was that the Big Bang Theory implied a creator, as in the Kalam cosmological argument, while the steady state theory didn’t.

Click  this illustration to see it in more det...

Big Bang Expansion

That objection, although it gave us a nicer name than Hypothesis Of The Primeval Atom, was based on a faulty assumption. The Big Bang does not state that the universe was created ex nihilo, as a large number of creationist believe, but it says there was an expansion of the universe. Creation ex nihilo is something creationists and particularly the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim but it is not something claimed in science since it is a clear violation of the first law of thermodynamics. As far as the universe being finite or infinite, once again a creation of the universe ex nihilo is an untenable position. Run the expansion backwards and you do come to a point commonly called the singularity, a ‘point’ where general relativity gives us infinite density and infinite temperature [general relativity breaks down at this ‘point’]. As Lemaître thought, when the universe was contracted to this ‘point’ space and time didn’t exist. Lemaître was wrong. Spacetime, at least spacetime as we know it, didn’t exist but the Big Bang was an expansion so spacetime or should I say prespacetime was present. Curiously enough this can be seen by considering an infinite universe. If the universe after the Big Bang and it’s ensuing inflation is infinite, then it must have started as infinite. The same can be seen with a finite universe only it is somewhat harder to see than with an infinite universe. That is the reason you see the word point, when I refer to the singularity, surrounded by inverted commas.  Steady State Theory is no longer a theory given any credence in scientific circles. The last nail in its coffin was the discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation in 1964 by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson.

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3 Responses

  1. […] theory then, likely referring to the singularity prior to the 'big bang' or Georges Lemaitre's 'primeval atom'. Further discussion would be interesting. The wise are instructed by reason, average minds by […]

  2. […] an epoch when all the matter in the universe was packed together in an extremely dense state – a primeval atom. This idea marked the birth of what we now know as Big Bang cosmology. Hubble described […]

  3. […] an epoch when all the matter in the universe was packed together in an extremely dense state – a primeval atom. This idea marked the birth of what we now know as Big Bang cosmology. Hubble described […]

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