The Instigator
belle
Pro (for)
Winning
42 Points
The Contender
gamemaster
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

It is reasonable to believe the Big Bang Theory is correct

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
belle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/9/2010 Category: Science
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,457 times Debate No: 12297
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (17)
Votes (6)

 

belle

Pro

Gamemaster claims that there is no evidence for the big bang. I disagree.

By "Big Bang" I mean a rapid expansion in the very early universe which gave rise to everything we see today. What came before the big bang, whether it be nothingness or another universe or a big crunch is irrelevant. In the following rounds I will attempt to present the evidence scientists have amassed and gamemaster will attempt to explain why the facts I present are NOT evidence for the big bang.

This round is for acceptance of the challenge only. I ask that arguments being in round two.
gamemaster

Con

Thanks for inving me to this debate.
A small correction: I did not say there is no evidence for the big bang, I said that there is no convincing evidence for it.

I accept the definition of Big Bang but not that your statement that "What came before the big bang, whether it be nothingness or another universe or a big crunch is irrelevant." I don't think that it is irrelevant, but it is very relevant in fact and I will use this to argue for my side. If you think it's irrelevant you will be free to argue for that so I don't think there's any problem.

Ok, I will await for Round 2 , you will present the evidence that shows Big Bang happened, then I'll post my arguments.

glhf [1]

http://www.urbandictionary.com...
Debate Round No. 1
belle

Pro

I would like to thank gamemaster for accepting the debate. To start off, I will summarize the main lines of
evidence for the big bang theory and attempt to explain why what caused it, or what came before, is not
necessary for it to be a reasonable theory.

First however, a few words on scientific theory. In science, a theory is a well-tested explanation of a diverse
array of facts.[1] In order to qualify as a theory, something must not only explain previously known facts, but also must make predictions on what one would expect to find if the theory were accurate. The big bang theory does both of these things. The evidence:

I. Recession of Galaxies

Starting in the 1912, astronomers were able to measure the spectra of light from distant galaxies. As more and more data came in, what they found was that the vast majority of galaxies showed red-shifted spectral lines, meaning that the galaxies were moving away from us. When this data was cross-checked with distance measures for the galaxies in question, it was found that recessional velocity increased as a function of distance. In other words- all galaxies are moving away from us, and the further away a galaxy is, the faster it is moving away. This became known as hubble's law. A more detailed description can be found here:

http://astrosun2.astro.cornell.edu...

Now, given this data, only two parsimonious conclusions are possible: either we are at the center of the universe, or the fabric of the universe itself is expanding. As the universe is vast, and we are but a very very small part of it, it is much more reasonable to conclude that the expansion is happening everywhere. We can even measure the rate! The current estimate is around 71 km/s per megaparsec. Of course, if the universe is expanding, it must have been smaller in the past. In fact, we can extrapolate backwards to a time when everything in the visible universe was exceedingly densely packed into an exceedingly small volume (though nowhere does the theory require a singularity). Additionally, this data is NOT well explained by any models positing explosion as opposed to expansion. For example, it is not observed that the mass of a galaxy and its recessional velocity are correlated, even though the force of an energetic explosion would manifest differently in objects of different masses (ie Newton's Second Law)

II. Cosmic Microwave Background

In the early 40s, when the Big Bang theory was first proposed to explain Hubble's findings, George Gammow and his colleagues predicted that a hot dense beginning would produce a burst of radiation that should still be detectable today. [2] Though most of the specific details Gammow proposed turned out to be wrong upon further investigation, but the "Cosmic Microwave Background" as it is now known, was detected in 1946 by scientists attempting sensitive microwave measurements.[3] They tried to eliminate it as static interference, but could not. We now know that this CMB radiation is homogeneous to within .0001 K in EVERY direction in the sky. We have measured it from here on earth as well as from space. It is a perfect blackbody spectrum. The Big Bang theory explains this data easily- as all hot objects emit blackbody spectra, so an extremely hot, extremely dense universe in the distant past would be expected to produce just such radiation. [4]

III. Light Element Abundances

Again using spectral analysis, astronomers can measure the abundances of the light elements Lithium, Beryllium, and Boron on the surfaces of stars (as well as all the other elements, but these three tell use something interesting!). We know that heavier elements are formed by nuclear fusion of hydrogen in the cores of stars, so we would expect that older stars would have a lower abundance of these elements. This is the case. But while Beryllium and Boron abundances continue to decline as we look at older and older stars, lithium abundance levels off at 3x10 e-10 per atom of hydrogen. While this doesn't seem like much, there is no known method for creating or destroying lithium in the universe today that isn't equally applicable to boron. The "nucleosynthesis in stars" theory also predicts a much lower percentage of Helium than what we observe. A hot dense past explains all the observed abundances. [5][6]

The above three are generally referred to as the "Three Pillars of the Big Bang". I will also present two other points that lend support to the idea of some type of big bang event.

IV. Astronomical Ages

There are many methods we can use to determine the ages of stars and galaxies. Nowhere do we find any older than around 12.5 billion years old. As low mass stars such as red dwarfs can live for trillions of years, there is no reason [7][8]

V. Olber's Paradox

Simply stated: if we assume a steady state universe, why is the sky dark at night? In a universe that has always existed and that is infinite in size, since stars and galaxies appear to be distributed randomly, shouldn't every point in the sky contain a star? This illustration explains it nicely:

http://ircamera.as.arizona.edu...

As the night sky is dark, one of those assumptions must be wrong- the universe (as we know it at least, the kind of universe populated with stars and galaxies) must have an edge and/or a beginning.

Finally, your assertion that what happened before the big bang is somehow relevant to this debate. I want to make it very clear what the big bang theory does and does not posit. It does posit that in the distant past, the universe was extremely hot and extremely dense. It does NOT posit a singularity. It does NOT posit an explosion. And it does NOT claim to explain the origin of the universe. Rather, it explains how the universe has been expanding and cooling over a period of about 14 billion years.

Claiming that the BBT is wrong because it does not explain the origins of the universe is like claiming Evolutionary Theory is wrong because it doesn't explain abiogensis, or like claiming our theory of how the Solar System formed is wrong because it doesn't explain gravity. While they are certainly related phenomena, the lack of explanation for one doesn't in any way invalidate the explanation given for the other. The Big Bang isn't wrong about the origin of the universe because it doesn't attempt to explain the origin of the universe.

I await your rebuttals!

1. http://wilstar.com...
2. http://www.britannica.com...
3. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...
4. http://www.talkorigins.org...
5. http://astro.berkeley.edu...
6. http://www.talkorigins.org...
7. http://www.astrosociety.org...
8. http://www.universetoday.com...
gamemaster

Con

(character limit reached, I haven't even got to address your arguments, sorry, I needed to do my intro first. Will continue)

------- Introduction --------

Ok I have left this reply for the last hours so I hope I'll be able to compile my stuff.

I will start by saying thar I am a little rough, please don't take it personal, it's just the way I am when it comes to absurdities. In our case, the absurdity is not so much the idea of a "big bang" , more then the idea that I ( and anybody else, for that matter), should accept this theory as truth , because a bunch of guys in scientist costumes say so, when the theory claims very counterintuitive or impossible to imagine states of being (timeless state of universe) I am against the text so, keep this in mind.

Before presenting my arguments against what is called "big bang"(bb) or big bang theory (bbt) I want to also draw awareness upon the abovemention issue.
99.99% of people living on this planet ( including me and I'm sure you too, if not, please tell) don't have access to the tehnology required to study such advanced science like cosmology. Most of us don't have quick access to a simple telescope. We should all be reasonable and recognize that when you say that there is evidence that bb is true you are in fact accepting as authority the guys who say so. As a logical, critical, thinker, philosopher and brilliant intelectual, the most innate ability that I now possess is defaulting to challange any authority when authority related issues are discussed. To give you a taste of this same medicine , I will use optional arguments from authority (I don't need these to present my case but what the heel :) . I challange you to debunk them , given that you can't even test what the source will speak about which is mainly the same issue from another perspective that is not the mainstream one.

To sum up, this debate isn't even between me and you, it's between your authorities on the matter and my skeptical brain that refuses to accept unproved or unprovable facts. But big bang is not just unproven it is impossible.

Another thing that I want to say now is that I accepted your statement from round 1 "By "Big Bang" I mean a rapid expansion in the very early universe which gave rise to everything we see today." , but from what I can tell , you are not consistent with this definition because your arguments are for another definition of Big Bang. Look. I know you took the wikipedia entrance for this subject, but in the end, if I have to say it, I'll say it, wikipedia can be edited by basement dwellers [1], and I hope we will agree upon the fact that when you discuss how the "universe began" (as if this expression even makes sense) , you can't rely on this. Big Bang isn't what you propose and argue for. I will therefore use the most common and most widely accepted definition of Big Bang and Big Bang Theory, which should be no problem for you if you are honest. Your argumentes is for this Big Bang as defined by [2] : (cosmology) the cosmic explosion that is hypothesized to have marked the origin of the universe. Of course along the way there are some details like " the universe was originally extremely hot and dense at some finite time in the past and has since cooled by expanding to a currently diluted state that continues to expand today."

Regardless, I'll do my part and write why I think that it is unreasonable for any person ( especially one of those 99.99% who can't test anything by themselves) to believe that : the universe had a beggining, that there was a big bang, and that the universe is expanding, etcetera.

end of introduction
--------------------------------------------------------------

Definitions:
universe: everything that exists anywhere [2]
--------------------------------------------------------------

Arguments.

There are some problems with the idea of big bang relating to the universe.

1. "Expanding universe" . What is this supposed to mean? Expanding into what? The universe must expand into something, and that something is supposed to be some kind of "empty space". However all empty space already belongs to the definition of universe, that includes everything that exists, including space, energy, and all the stuff.
Let's say that we are at the edge where the "universe defining light" is speeding its way out. Here's a simple question: Is the area 5 meters ahead of the light wave part of the universe? Well it is. It's just as much a part of this universe as the space between any two planets is. Empty space is also a part of "everything that exists anywhere". What about a mile? What about a million miles? It's all empty space according to the theory. Or is it? Remember, the current Big Bang theory is an expanding theory, not a static theory. If there's anything to expand into, that space must, as shown above, belong in the universe.

2. Time. What happened before BB? If BB is an event that lead to the existence of the universe, the logical questions that comes to mind is why it happened and what happened before it. As you force a healthy brain to think to these question it should eventally reach the conclusion that it is absurd to think of concepts such as "beginning of time" . Beginning is a term that is meaningless in abscence of a time-scale. Time , by any stretch of immagination, cannot have a beginning. Time requires change in the state of the universe. For time itself to have a beginning, a state of total stabiltiy is needed. A place where all things that exist never change or more or age or die or you get the point.
For an event that marks the "beginning of time" to be possible , it needs a primary "trigger" ( Theists could refer to this trigger as God, of course this would only lead to greater problems) Conditions for BB to happen at a random X point means that stuff happened before it, which demolishes the idea that BB created time.
The most reasonable assumption that can be made, which is also most probably the truth on the matter, is that the universe always existed and it is infinite in size. This is neither an explanation it itself, but a more reasonable way to imagine the universe, one that does not automatically run into very insolvable problems.

3. Authorities such as Stephen Hawking stated on a documentary that in the end the most simple "explantion" for him is BB brough our universe into existance spontaneously and for no reason.(i don't have source at hand, will provide later) Also asked in October 2005 on the British daytime chat show Richard & Judy, to explain his assertion that the question "What came before the Big Bang?" was meaningless, he compared it to asking "What lies north of the North Pole?" No in fact this only shows how clueless this guy is. The question is not meaningless but on the contrary, and even more so when authorities give "explanations" similar to those of the theists, "God did it" , "Big Bang did it"
Why does this matter? Matters, because when you use authorities as your arguments, and those authorities speak nonsense publicly about the given issue, it means you'll also speak nonsense when you try to convince others how right your authorities are.

4. Argument from religious authorities. Hawking takes an agnostic position on matters of religion. He has repeatedly used the word "God" (in metaphorical meanings) to illustrate points made in his books and public speeches.
This is similar to argument 3 , only stronger. How am I supposed to believe the word of an idiot who doesn't exclude outright the possibility of existance of deities?! That would be really stupid of me because I know better then to listen to crazy people. [3]

5. optional argment [4] Debunk this please :)

Sorry character limit!!

1] http://encyclopediadramatica.com...
2] wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/web
3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
4] http://www.angelfire.com...
Debate Round No. 2
belle

Pro

"99.99% of people living on this planet ( including me and I'm sure you too, if not, please tell) don't have
access to the tehnology required to study such advanced science like cosmology" While this is true, I would like to point out that the entire paragraph following the above sentence is nothing more than an appeal to ignorance. There is no cabal preventing my opponent from studying astronomy and investigating the truth of these claims for himself. The fact that he has not done so is no argument against the big bang theory.

"Another thing that I want to say now is that I accepted your statement from round 1 "By "Big Bang" I mean a rapid expansion in the very early universe which gave rise to everything we see today." , but from what I can tell , you are not consistent with this definition because your arguments are for another definition of Big Bang."

Where did I imply that I was arguing for anything else? Please quote my inconsistencies...

"Look. I know you took the wikipedia entrance for this subject, but in the end, if I have to say it, I'll say it, wikipedia can be edited by basement dwellers [1], and I hope we will agree upon the fact that when you discuss how the "universe began" (as if this expression even makes sense) , you can't rely on this."

Nice try, but I got my definition from my astronomy textbook. If the definition on wikipedia is similar its only because that is the commonly accepted use of the term "Big Bang" and what scientists generally mean when they use the term.

"Your argumentes is for this Big Bang as defined by [2] : (cosmology) the cosmic explosion that is hypothesized to have marked the origin of the universe."

If you read my round, you would know that I specifically refuted the idea that the big bang was an explosion. I also stated that the big bang marked the beginning of the universe AS WE KNOW IT- not the origin of the universe {fullstop}. So this definition is unacceptable. Since you have already agreed to mine, you have no business trying to change it in the middle of the debate.

>>>:::Refutations:::<<<

1. Again, appeal to ignorance. My opponent's inability to understand the theory is not a fault of the theory. While it is true that there is no way to answer the question of what the universe is expanding into scientifically, that is because we are literally incapable of measuring or otherwise interacting with anything outside out of the our universe. There are many speculations on the subject. However, such an objection in no way invalidates the massive amounts of evidence showing that the universe IS indeed expanding. If my opponent has some framework capable of explaining why the universe appears to be expanding but isn't, I would have something more to say. Since he appears not to, his argument amounts to nothing but personal incredulity.

2. What happened before the BB- who cares? The Big Bang theory has nothing to say about what came before it. Note that gamemaster has not addressed my explanation as to why such information is irrelevant, but instead crafted an argument as if I had never mentioned the subject at all.

3. I am not here to argue for Stephen Hawking's position, nor am I here to argue what happened before the big bang. So this point is, once again, irrelevant. However, I will say that gamemaster's assertion that Stephen Hawking is wrong is nowhere near a refutation of anything he has said.

4. More irrelevancies! A person is clearly not wrong about everything by virtue of the fact that the believe in god.

5. I will attempt to do so if you will attempt to summarize it in your own words. Its not my job to debunk arguments you are too lazy to make yourself.

My opponent has offered no counters to any of the evidence I presented. He argues that the Big Bang Theory is wrong because it doesn't explain what came before the Big Bang. However, NO theory explains anything that lies outside it's scope; his so called criticism of the Big Bang is actually the result of its strength, namely its limited scope (limited by the evidence). My opponent has yet to acknowledge this. He has also completely ignored what I wrote regarding what the Big Bang Theory DOES and DOES NOT entail. All his arguments pertain specifically to areas which I explained are NOT within its scope. He has not bothered to explain why they should properly be included, only attempted to include them by brute force (and changing definitions halfway through).

I can only hope gamemaster's next round is more pertinent to the issue at hand.
gamemaster

Con

copied text follows. [1]

Cosmology, by definition, claims to be the science of our universe, i.e. of everything that exists (in more recent times it has even invented the 'idea' of parallel universes in order to accommodate things that do not exist).
The ambition to find the ultimate reason for the existence of everything may be acceptable as a (pseudo-) religious quest but hardly as an objective and rational scientific endeavour. It is obvious that the assumption of a 'creation' is logically inconsistent with the scientific principle of cause and effect. Any valid scientific approach is therefore necessarily tied to the infinite dimensions of space and time as the forms of existence (the argument of cosmologists that time and space came only into existence at the 'time' of the big bang is a logical contradiction in itself and therefore scientifically nonsense).What has led cosmologists to abandon logic and establish a pseudo-scientific system that tries to explain the creation and ultimate fate of everything ? At least with regard to modern times, the reason has to be seen in the discovery of the 'global' redshift of galaxies (Hubble Law), which, as interpreted through the Doppler effect, led to the conclusion that all galaxies are receding from each other. Now, in a homogeneous and infinite universe this is not possible as it would mean that the average mass density would permanently decrease, which would violate the continuity equation for mass conservation (in other words, mass conservation demands that the mass density has to increase elsewhere if it decreases in a given region of space; obviously this rules out an overall decrease of the mass density (see the page The Expansion of the Universe Debunked for more)). This on its own should already prove the physical impossibility of the expansion idea. However, in a kind of inversion of logical and physical principles, cosmologists decided then to tamper with the forms of existence and make space itself an object in some imaginary hyperspace. Yet even with this unphysical 'model', there remains the paradoxical consequence that not only the distances between galaxies but also the size of the latter should increase. Even atoms should become larger, altering therefore the fundamental frequencies for radiative transitions and resulting in an apparent blueshift for distant (young) galaxies (to evade this argument, cosmologists argue that physical systems held together by forces are exempt from the Hubble expansion, but this should then actually mean that the space in our solar system is unexpanded, and since light should adapt to the local scale of space, we should not see galaxies redshifted at all (which obviously contradicts observations)).It is obvious that space (as well as time) can not be a subject of scientific investigation as we ourselves are objects within them.The observed redshift of galaxies is therefore not a consequence of space expansion but only of (intergalactic) distance and one should look for a physical effect that delivers this redshift rather than try to involve 'known' physics by bending the rules of logic and common sense. A good candidate for the actual cause of the redshift is the intergalactic plasma electric field (see the page Plasma Theory of Hubble Redshift of Galaxies on my site plasmaphysics.org.uk; regarding the argument by Big-Bang cosmologists that other than recessional redshifts would not yield the observed time dilation of supernova lightcurves, see the page Galactic Redshifts and Supernova Lightcurves).However, cosmologists can be accused of not only lacking a grasp of conceptual principles, but also of experimental expertise, as demonstrated by a crucial flaw in the WMAP data analysis.

The concept of a 'curved space', which is essential for present cosmological models, is logically flawed because it assumes that the distance between two points in a given (curved) metric is the shortest possible distance, which however is only the case for the Euclidean metric (as the shortest distance between two points is by definition a straight line). Mathematicians frequently try for instance to illustrate the properties of 'curved space' through the example of a spherical (or otherwise curved) surface and the associated geometrical relationships. However, a surface is only a mathematical abstraction within the actual (3-dimensional) space and one can in fact connect any two points on the surface of a physical object through a straight line by drilling through it.
Strictly speaking, one can not assign any properties at all to space (or time) as these are the outer forms of existence and it makes as much sense to speak of a 'curved space' as of a 'blue space'. Any such properties must be restricted to objects existing within space and time.
The concept of gravity being due to a space curvature, as promoted by General Relativity, is therefore also inconsistent and should be replaced by appropriate physical theories describing the trajectories of particles and/or light near these objects (see the Relativity page for more).

One should also note here the inconsistency that cosmologists are making when assuming a resultant gravitational force in their models despite adhering to the cosmological principle of homogeneity and isotropy (which should logically imply a zero gravity force everywhere throughout the universe as equal and opposite forces cancel). This obviously completely invalidates their conclusion regarding the existence of Dark Matter and Dark Energy.
But as indicated above, the primary mistake is of course to assume an expanding universe in the first place.

----end of copied text----

"4. More irrelevancies! A person is clearly not wrong about everything by virtue of the fact that the believe in god."

>Of course not. But also sure does not help to recommend him as somebody worthy of attention or with any chance of saying something coherent. So trying to appeal to a religious authority to prove anything is not something you wanna do, especially when all you have for your case is that authority.

I am sorry but I will have to forfeit this debate. I need to attent to other matters. I apologise for leaving out during this.
Because of this I encourage all votes for pro. Still, you might want to think a little more about the things I said and also read the website below. Try to keep in mind that appeal to authority is a sophism and when you want to prove something you must deliver the goods. If you want you could try to debunk what is copied in the text, that is if you have arguments to do so except ipse dixit.
As for me I have mentioned some logical objections relating the subject that you reject as absurd or irrelevant. The universe being infinite in time and space cannot have a beginning of the sort big bang would be like. Also the universe being infinite in space cannot expand. [2]

Pro tip: Science is a good tool for knowledge, but when logic and science disagree, logic wins.

Sources.

1] http://www.physicsmyths.org.uk...
2] brain!

I gotta go (this account is no longer active) , Pro wins.
Debate Round No. 3
belle

Pro

Oh well. I guess the debate is over. Maybe some other time. And for the record, copy-pasting is NOT typing something up in your own words. :P
gamemaster

Con

gamemaster forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by sherlockmethod 6 years ago
sherlockmethod
belle destroyed this chump. He saw his nonsense called out and he ran away. Too funny. All points Pro.
Posted by Atheism 6 years ago
Atheism
Facepalm. Just Facepalm.
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
Con sourced an Angelfire site, Urban Dictionary, Wiki and Encyclopedia Drammatica for his argument about physics? lol
Posted by Puck 6 years ago
Puck
Fail, gamemaster.
Posted by Kinesis 6 years ago
Kinesis
lol @ gamemaster calling STEPHEN HAWKING clueless.
Posted by gamemaster 6 years ago
gamemaster
I won't. I will start writing my reply now.. I was kinda busy.
Posted by belle 6 years ago
belle
don't leave me hanging :(
Posted by Kinesis 6 years ago
Kinesis
Certainty, I should say.
Posted by Kinesis 6 years ago
Kinesis
'I believe Gravity Theory is correct, for example and I can prove it'

Not 100%. Nothing can be proven to 100% accuracy.
Posted by gamemaster 6 years ago
gamemaster
Ok. Make it is reasonable to believe that big bang theory is correct.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Dingo7 6 years ago
Dingo7
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belle
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