The Big Bang Idea

Big Bang is not a scientific theory - hence the title of the thread. As with the idea of common descent evolution, Big Bang is an alleged one time historical event that is not observable, testable, or repeatable, and is therefore not actually a part of science - as defined by Karl Popper.

That being said, I have many questions about this alleged historical event. I remember as a child being told that everything that currently makes up our world “exploded into space”. Now I’m told that space itself was also created by Big Bang, and that it rapidly inflated. I don’t really see the difference between stuff exploding into empty space and space itself inflating into… empty space, but whatever.

As I understand the claims, everything that currently is was in a very dense singularity. We don’t know where the singularity came from, why it was there, or why it exploded/inflated into our world.

But my questions begin with what happened next. As I understand it, very hot energy (no matter existed yet) exploded/inflated from the singularity in all directions. Yet we’re told that there is no “center” to our universe. Wouldn’t the place where the singularity was - away from which everything expanded - be the center of it all?

I think we need to start off here by clearing up some misconceptions about what it means for something to be “observable, testable and repeatable.” Young earthists love to make a lot of noise about this, but they have some serious misconceptions about what “observable, testable and repeatable” actually means.

For starters, it does not mean that you have to have been there right from the beginning to see things happen, and it does not mean that you can just cry “assumptions” as some kind of magic shibboleth if you weren’t. The “were you there?” argument is a lie—a fallacy that preys on non-scientists’ misconceptions and misunderstandings of how science actually works and what it is and isn’t capable of.

“Observable” simply means that you use observation and measurement to determine and verify basic rules and principles that tell us how things work. Principles such as Newton’s laws of motion, Maxwell’s equations, quantum mechanics, radioactive decay laws and so on. These rules and principles can then be expressed as precise mathematical equations, and those mathematical equations can then be used to give us an indication of what to expect in response to specific actions (such as turning on a light switch for example). Those exact same principles can be used to place tight constraints on what could or could not have happened in the past.

“Testable” means that you use the rules you have derived through observation to make mathematically precise predictions about what you would expect to see if a theory were correct (or wrong) and then make further observations and measurements to check whether that is what you actually see in reality. For example, the Big Bang theory predicts that we should see a uniform microwave background radiation in the sky corresponding to a temperature of 2.7 Kelvin. This was first observed in 1964 by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, for which they won the Nobel Prize in 1978.

A young earth, likewise, makes testable predictions: it predicts that we should have sequenced the entire T-Rex genome by now; it predicts that we should never see more than a few parts per billion of lead in zircon crystals; it predicts that we should not see any stars more than six thousand light years away; and so on and so forth. Every single mathematically precise prediction made by young earth models has failed spectacularly while the only “predictions” that it does make that can be claimed to have succeeded are too broad and imprecise to prove anything.

“Repeatable” means that when two or more scientific methods or measurement techniques give the same mathematically precise results, despite being made in different circumstances or at different times, or making different assumptions, that is evidence that those results are, in fact, correct. For example when radiometric dating tells us that the Hawaiian islands have been moving over a hotspot in the Earth’s mantle for the past 80 million years at a rate of 8.6 millimetres per year, and when direct GPS and laser-based measurements give us exactly the same result in the present day, that is repeatability.

So in a nutshell: the claim that the Big Bang is not observable, testable and repeatable is very, very misleading at best. The event itself may not be directly observable or repeatable, but it has left behind evidence, and that evidence must be interpreted according to strict rules and principles that very much are observable, testable and repeatable. This being the case, the claim that it is not scientific is simply not true and demonstrates a serious lack of understanding of what science is, how it works, how it is conducted, and what it is capable of.


That is a difficult concept for me to imagine, but if you think of the siglularity as a tiny balloon, and put 3 dots on it, the center of expansion, then blow it up, the three dots will be widely separated and expanding away from one another, yet will have all originated at the center of the balloon. All space was equally at the center in the beginning, so in a sense, is equally considered the center. If you look in any direction from earth, the universe in general is expanding away from us (locally, galaxies may be coming our way, as it is a chaotic place)

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Ah, empiricism should lead beyond to rationality, but once again leads to the infant’s covering their face with their hands and thinking they’re invisible.

Karl Popper never said that you have to observe the hypothesis/theory. Theories and observations are different things. “Observable, testable, and repeatable” refers to the observations that are used to test the theory. As Stephen Jay Gould put it:

“And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world’s data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein’s theory of gravitation replaced Newton’s, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome.”–Stephen Jay Gould, “Evolution as Fact and Theory”

What Popper did say is that a theory needs to be potentially falsifiable. The Big Bang theory is falsifiable. For example, the Big Bang model predicted a cosmic microwave background. If that didn’t exist then this would be a serious challenge for the theory. The cosmic microwave background is a repeatable empirical observation. We could also include the predicted and observable relationship between distance and galactic redshift. Again, this is a repeatable empirical observation which satisfies the requirements for science. The BB theory also predicts that this relationship should be observed, and the theory would be under serious challenge if we didn’t, so it is falsifiable.

Just to reiterate, in the scientific method you don’t observe the hypothesis. You test the hypothesis with observations. The whole point of the scientific method is to figure out what is going on when we can’t directly observe something.

We are still in the space where the singularity was. The singularity filled the entire universe. It is the universe that expanded.

As to the center, there is no center to the universe in the same way that there is no center on the surface of a sphere. If the Earth were an ocean world, every ship would observe that they are in the center of what they can see. Every point on the horizon would be equally far away. Every ship would observe the same thing. Our universe is similar if you translate the 2D idea of the surface of a sphere to a 3D space.


Im going to address this from the outset as its not an adequate description of the real issue that YECers have on this issue…

Scientists can supposedly backdate using variables that they claim do not change much over millions of years. Now there is a major problem with that idea…the variables are not stagnant and even only a slight elevation or decrease in temperature makes and enormous difference to the accuracy of the modeling process because changes in temperature make a big difference to the decay rate (and temp is only one problematic factor)

So science applies the assumption, that the state of elements used in decay type dating methods are the same today as they were millions of years ago, however, if we look at a number of volcanic eruptions that have occurred even in the last 100 years (mt saint hellens is just one example), when rocks from these eruptions were tested and dated…it came as no surprise to YECers when the secular scientific interpretations of said rocks was woefully incorrect because the dates of the eruptions were known. As I said, this is just but one example of problems with the methods used and the way in which secular scientists interpret the data. Theistic evolutionists simply follow the leading of those who do not believe in “a god”…that is a very silly position to take. What person in their right mind would choose to follow such a lead? That is not a common sense approach to take when one must combine theology and science.

Science and theology must harmonise such that neither has doctrinal issues. The problem is, how do we know which one is the higher authority…which one do we choose first? The answer to that is simple, without epistemology, why would one even question…why would the interpretation of science even exist? So Bible first, interpreting the science second for me.

In all honesty, this is a problem that will not go away and the reason for it is simple…secularism demands “no god” in its scientific interpretations. It is no wonder that theistic evolutionists struggle with this…they simply cannot reconcile the woeful bible theology that is ingrained in them…so they have no option but to ignore the theological impossibilities and instead focus on science…rarely getting into theological debates (because they get shot to pieces every time they do debate theology).

I would encourage you to look at the basis of that statement, as I think you will find even big differences in temp have been shown to cause only incremental changes. A bit above my pay grade, but one study:

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And no surprise to secular scientists either, who are aware of the limitations of the testing process and how improper testing can give erroneous results. The only question is whether some of those tests were done in good faith or purposely introduced to give intentionally misleading results. That becomes a real theological problem.

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No it doesn’t. It demands what is necessary to explain. God isn’t.

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Do you have references showing big differences in decay rates for the isotopes that are used in radiometric dating? I have never seen any evidence that decay rates change by any appreciable amount at the temperatures where molten rock transitions to solid rock.

At one point, those who followed the evidence to the conclusion of Heliocentrism were hounded by theologians who proclaimed that the Bible demanded Geocentrism. Are you a Geocntrist?

Science demands empirical evidence. That’s it. If there were empirical evidence for the participation of deities in the natural world then they would be included in science.

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Did the Universe Begin? X: Recapitulation » Undivided Looking (

You might find his thinking useful, he’s a physicist working at Cambridge.

The Big Bang model itself does not attempt to explain where the hot, dense early universe from. The BB theory only attempts to explain what happened after that point as the universe began to expand. If God created that initial singularity then nothing in the BB theory would be affected. It’s kind of like the relationship between abiogenesis and evolution. The BB theory would be equivalent to evolution in this comparison.


And I am going to address this from the outset as it is nothing more nor less than making things up.

Your claim that “the variables are not stagnant and even only a slight elevation or decrease in temperature makes and enormous difference to the accuracy of the modeling process because changes in temperature make a big difference to the decay rate” is simply flat-out untrue. Scientists have measured decay rates under a wide variety of different conditions and have found that they do not change so much as a smidgen under even large changes of temperature, pressure, gravity or electromagnetic fields. You are making claims here that are actively contradicted by direct evidence, observation and measurement.

In any case, assumptions are not a get-out-of-jail-free card. In order to challenge a scientific theory by questioning its assumptions, you must provide a credible explanation as to how those assumptions could have been violated in such a way to give exactly the same end results as what we see in reality, right down to the exact measurements and cross-correlations between those measurements. You have to explain, for example, how radioactive decay rates could have varied by a factor of a million, in exact lock-step with variations in the rate of continental drift so as to give the correlation between age and distance that we see in the Hawaiian islands. You have to explain how radioactive decay rates and continental drift could have varied in exact lock-step with such things as tree rings, lake varves, ice cores, thermoluminescence, coral formation, and a whole lot of other things, all by the same factor of a million. And then you have to explain how those radioactive decay rates could have been accelerated by a factor of a million without raising the earth’s temperature so high that it would have vaporised the entire planet.

I’ve explained this to you before Adam and I’ll explain it again.

What YECs are doing here is like taking a set of bathroom scales, seeing that it reads 0.1 kilograms rather than zero when you’re not standing on it, then when you stand on a completely different set of bathroom scales and see a weight of 90 kilograms, claiming that the error on the first set of scales means that you could plausibly weigh nothing.

You will find measurement errors of some form or another in every measurement technique. But these don’t invalidate the measurement techniques in their entirety. The measurements that came back from the Mount St Helens dacites – 0.3 to 2.8 million years – were less than one tenth of one percent of the age of the earth. That could justify claims that, for example, Permian rocks measuring at 275 million years old could be as young as 272.2 million years and no younger. To claim otherwise is to blow the extent and significance of the errors out of all proportion.

There is nothing “atheist” or “secular” whatsoever about the way that the age of the earth, or evolutionary relationships between different species, are determined. They follow the lead of basic, fundamental principles of observation, measurement, mathematics and basic honesty that apply to Christians and atheists alike. Principles such as handling error bars correctly, not exaggerating, not quote mining and so on. It’s as simple as that.

Seriously, Adam, this has been explained to you over and over again on this forum. But you are still repeating the same falsehood and misinformation over and over again. The first thing that you—or indeed anyone—needs to do before attempting to discuss science and faith is to make sure that your facts are straight. Is making sure your facts are straight even on your radar?


If the universe is limitless and infinite, where would the center be?

jammycakes…thanks for the list of definitions

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In case it’s not a rhetorical question . . .

An infinite universe would be infinity across, so the center would be infinity/2, which is infinity. So the center would be infinity away from the edge of the universe, which is infinitely far away. Id est, there’s no center.

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My point exactly, T…my question related to the previous comment about the center of the universe…Thanks for adding to it

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It isn’t. . . .

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The underlying assumptions in your argument reveal one of the earliest heresies to plague the Christian Church. The Gnostics believed that the God who redeems us is in opposition to the demigod who created the world. The Gnostic god saves us by releasing us from the physical world.

Instead, let’s go to basic Christian belief. Here the God who created the world is the same God who saves us by an act of New Creation, because behold, if any are in Christ, there is a new creation. In other words, redemption is by becoming a new creation at the hand of God. So, any argument that wants to set our understanding of Creation through science, and our understanding of the Bible through Biblical theology, in opposition to each other through an “either/or” stance, derives ultimately from heresy.

Very early in the history of the Christian Church, theologians came to the conclusion that if God is the Creator, then Nature is a book written by the finger of God. It is not surprising therefore to discover that historically, Christian clergy have been at the forefront of scientific endeavor. For the purpose of this discussion, the Big Bang theory of the universe was first proposed by Fr George Lemaitre.

What happens then when science and the Bible appear to be in conflict? From a very early time, Christian theologians saw such situations as an indication that one should re-approach the Bible and ask what genre of literature they were reading and how it was to be understood. This understanding continues to this day. Scholars believe that most of the books of the Old Testament, (or Hebrew Bible if you prefer), reached their final form at the hands of Jewish scholars who were in exile in Babylon. The Creation stories in the Bible are similar to other Creation stories found in Mesopotamian culture. At the hands of Jewish writers, common Mesopotamian assumptions about how the world came into existence became the carriage for theological assertions unique to the God of Israel. In other words, the Creation stories in the Bible are not concerned with how the world came into being, but what it was all for; and the implications of that for human beings.

The discovery of physical causes in the material world without recourse to God does not deny the existence of God. Surely it is God as Creator who has established these physical causes within the material world? Nowadays, computer programmers chase the hope of creating artificial intelligence (AI). Many of their claims to success “jump the gun” a little, but there have been some great successes. Today we look at a world which seems to have AI embedded. It evolves in a way that defies all odds to reach its intended end. The more we discover through science, the more we appreciate the way in which the material world evolves to adapt and maintain life, including human life. This, in turn, points to what we might think of as God the programmer. Turning God into the “God of gaps” in our knowledge, obscures our appreciation of the amazing causes embedded by God in the Creation itself.

There should be a path along which our understanding of the way to approach Scripture also evolves.


Very nice. But who is your source for this info? I do like it basically but wonder who is your source