How to Describe the Universe and our Existence

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The Big Bang Event was neither Large nor Explosive

The general concept of Big Bang theory (the BB event) is really quite simple...

Idiot's Guide to BB Theory:  We observe new time and space within the universe is continuously unfolding.  Yesterday, the universe contained less time and space. Go back enough yesterdays and you arrive at an infinitesimally small point of infinite energy.  That is the essence of BB Theory!

The BB theory is today's most widely accepted scientific theory of how our universe came to exist; and although science is a continuous process of evolving knowledge, so much data supports BB theory that there is little likelihood of any competing theory ever challenging it. 

"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move."

Douglas Adams, English humorist & science fiction novelist (1952 - 2001)

The term "Big Bang" was first coined by Sir Fred Hoyle (1915-2001) who was a noted British astronomer and science fiction writer. He called the theory the Big Bang to be derisive, because he was an advocate of the now discounted Steady State theory of the universe.  The origin of the BB concept is attributed to a Belgian catholic priest and scientist George Lemaître (1894-1966) who proposed what became the Big Bang theory in 1927. 

The Singularity Paradox

The BB theory states that our universe began as an infinitesimally small dimensionless point of infinite energy called a singularity.  Within this point, new time and space is continuously unfolding.  The point of infinite energy is inexorably dissolving into static mass, and time and space in a process called universal entropy.

It is essential to grasp that the universe exists entirely within this singularity. Even though new time and space is continuously unfolding within our universe, it still maintains characteristics of the singularity of our origin.  The universe isn't expanding into something (nothing exists there for the universe to expand into), but newly created time and space which exists wholly enclosed within the singularity itself, which is continuosly coming into existence.

This is the reason why Einstein's Theory of Relativity and especially his theory of Special Relativity work in our universe - we exist within an infinitesimally small dimensionless point!

"There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”


Douglas Adams, English humorist & science fiction novelist (1952 - 2001)

An interesting implication of existing within a singularity is the universal "Frame of Reference" conundrum.  Every point within the universe shares a common frame of reference and observes itself to be:

  • The oldest point within the universe
  • The most central point within the universe
  • The most distant point from the BB event within the universe

No matter where you go within the universe, nor how fast you travel to get there, you cannot escape this universal frame of reference paradox. 

The origin point of the singularity (the BB event when time began unfolding) is located about 47.5 billion light years away in every direction in our 13.8 billion year-old universe. This counter-intuitive observation is due to the fact that new time and space is continuously being created within the singularity everywhere at once. The origin point of the universe has receded beyond our observable horizon; and note that every other point in the universe shares this same observed reference frame.

Resisting Incorrect Perceptions of Big Bang Theory

“Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.”

Douglas Adams, English humorist & science fiction novelist (1952 - 2001)

When writing about the beginnings of our universe and BB theory, it is important to avoid descriptors which promote incorrect ideas about our origins; such as calling the BB an explosive or even an expansive event, which promotes the false connotations of a universe that is taking over some other some preexisting space. This task is made more difficult by the Inflation Event, which was a very rapid expansion of time and space within the universe within the first few nanoseconds of its existence.

Better terminologies which would tend to foster more correct notions of BB theory would be to describe time and space as “unfolding” within the universe, or describing the BB as a point of infinite energy “dissolving” within the universe.  Alternate descriptions would hopefully avoid incorrect ideas and the confusion they promote.

It is also pointless to speculate as to what came before the universe, because this concept is beyond our reality.  We can correctly say that since no time or space occurred before the BB event, the universe must have existed for all time.  Even though the universe had a beginning, it has also always existed. This is a wonderful paradox and our universe is full of them.

And although there is no such thing as an outside to our singularity universe, there is no reason why an infinite number of singularity universes couldn’t exist.

The End

Mainstream cosmological thought is of the opinion that the ultimate fate of the universe is as follows: New time and space will continue to unfold within the universe forever, the universe will gradually grow cold and dark as the static mass becomes more and more diffuse and energy undergoes continuous entropy.  This is the “Big Freeze" theory or heat death of the universe and it isn't the last word on this subject...

"Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws."

Douglas Adams, English humorist & science fiction novelist (1952 - 2001)