The Instigator
KafkaF
Pro (for)
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The Contender
CentristX
Con (against)
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The Big Bang is currently the most credible scientific theory on the evolution of the early Universe

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/23/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,064 times Debate No: 55172
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (0)

 

KafkaF

Pro

This debate is impossible to accept. If you are interested in debating this topic, leave a comment stating that you are interested in the comment section.

I will be arguing that the Big Bang theory is currently the most credible scientific theory on the evolution of the early Universe. My opponent will argue that the Big Bang is not the most credible credible scientific theory on the evolution of the early Universe.

First round is for acceptance only.
In the second round, both sides will present their arguments(no rebuttals)
Third round is for rebuttals.
Fourth round is for both sides to defend their arguments from the rebuttals in the third round(no new rebuttals).
CentristX

Con

As the Con, I take the role of arguing that the Big Bang theory is not the most credible scientific theory on the evolution of the early universe.

I accept this debate with the hope that this continues to be a clean debate, and also that the voters remain open-minded through each arguments when they decide their votes.
Debate Round No. 1
KafkaF

Pro

First of all, I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate.

1. The Cosmic microwave background radiation

This is usually the most used piece of proof for the Big Bang theory, and for a good reason.

For those who don't know what this is, here is a quick description: Back in 1964, astronomers Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson were testing a new radio antenna. They then noticed something strange- wherever they would point the antenna, they would always get a hum. They tried everything to get rid of the hum, but once they finally exhausted all their possibilities, they came to the conclusion that the hum was of extraterrestrial origin and came from every portion of the Universe.

Since this microwave-wavelength light, as said, comes from all portions of the Universe and at the same frequency[1][2][3], we can conclude that whatever emitted this light had to have occupied the entire Universe at some point. The Big Bang theory explains this very nicely: that once the Universe began inflating, it was very dense and homogeneous for a long time, and that only after a certain period of time, light started becaming visible to an observer at a certain distance away from the source(319,000 years after the Big Bang).

There is also another very important thing about the CMB- the fact that it is only slightly heterogeneous, which can be concluded from the temperature differences between areas. This proves 2 things:

1. The Universe was almost entirely homogeneous for a certain time, thus giving further proof to the credibility of the Big Bang theory.

2. There were slight differences in densities in the 'source' of the CMB, and by the Big Bang theory, these differences in density would later determine where galaxies, stars etc. would form. We can observe that this is true even today- we can see that the Universe has a large scale structure and that galaxies aren't just in random positions.

No other theory, as far as I know, can explain the CMB.

2. The expansion of the Universe

This is a pretty obvious one. We know that the Universe is expanding since galaxies at greater distances tend to have a greater redshift(reddening due to their moving away from the Earth) which means that distant galaxies are moving away from us.[4][5]

Since we know that the Universe is expanding, it is only natural to assume that it was much smaller in the past, thus giving further credibility to the Big Bang theory.

3. The abundance of light elements(Hydrogen, Helium)

Hydrogen makes up roughly 75% of all baryonic mass in the Universe. Helium makes up around 21% of all baryonic mass. It is obvious that the two lightest elements are by far the most abundant[6], and while some may call this just a coincidence, here is another important piece of evidence: the metallicities of stars based on their age.

Metallicity does not necessarily show the abundance of actual metals within a star, but any element other than hydrogen and helium. We have observed that the metallicity of young stars tends to be relatively high, relatively low for old stars in globular clusters and almost nonexistent in ancient stars(example:HE 1523-0901).[7][8]

Older stars have a much lower metallicity than new, young stars and we can notice that at some point in the past, the Universe was likely metal-free. This further gives credibility to the Big Bang theory, which states that when the Universe was formed, baryonic mass was composed of only hydrogen, helium and trace amounts of lithium[9] and that heavier elements had to be formed during stellar nucleosynthesis.

4. The large scale structure of the Universe

The galaxies in the Universe are distributed in a relatively neat way: they are grouped into many interconnected galactic filaments with huge voids in between them.[10]

This also supports the Big Bang theory, which says that the Universe was only slightly heterogeneous in the beginning and that these differences in density would determine where galaxies would be concentrated.

Gravity would be an unlikely cause, since if this was the only factor, galaxies would likely be either in an almost completely random distribution(like stars inside galaxies) or organized into huge clusters, however these huge clusters would be separated from each other, which does not coincide with observational evidence.

[1]http://aether.lbl.gov...
[2]http://www.scientificamerican.com... (never mind the fact that the time frames are slightly wrong since the article was written in 2004)
[3]http://www.bbc.co.uk...
[4]http://skyserver.sdss.org...
[5]http://wmap.gsfc.nasa.gov...
[6]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[7]http://burro.astr.cwru.edu...
[8]http://www.nature.com...
[9]http://astro.berkeley.edu...
[10]http://www.universetoday.com...
CentristX

Con

To start, I would also like to thank KafkaF for inviting me to accept this debate.

A: The First Law of Thermodynamics

Just as the Pro's first argument, this is also probably one of the commonly used evidences when arguing against the Big Bang theory, and also the simplest.

The First Law of Thermodynamics states, "The change in Internal Energy of a system is equal to the heat added to the system minus the work done by the system." [1]

This scientific law essentially states that you cannot create or destroy matter or energy. This means that as the Big Bang Theory claims, something came from nothing, and that nothingness condensed together in extreme heat and exploded, expanded, and created our Universe today. Of course, according to the first law of Thermodynamics, this would not be possible. To say that it is possible, would mean disproving a scientific law, which would drastically change thermodynamics and science as we know it.

B: Some simple questions

What exploded? If anything?

Where did it come from?


My arguments are short and should be quick to reply with a rebuttal.
However, I'm also afraid I entered this debate not knowing all the details of what the Pro is arguing for, for example:

Which model/theory of the Big Bang are we talking about?

There is the Steady-state model, which claims that the Universe has always been the same density, only constantly expanding and generating matter at a proportional rate of expansion.

Then there is the big bounce theory, that states that our Universe is only one of a series to expand, and then contract, and repeat the process. If this is the theory that we speak about, then it must mean that, with our "13.8 billion year old" [2] Universe has only a few million more years until we shrink up again.
Forget about global warming!

There are plenty of other theories and models that explain the "Big Bang Theory", which you could find just 4 of the such at this link: [3]

With this debate, I am not arguing for another theory on the origin of the Universe, but I am arguing that the Big Bang theory is not the most credible scientific on the evolution of the Universe, because it is full of so many assumptions and variation; how could it be the most credible, when we can't make up our minds about what it actually is!

The Big Bang theory has changed over the years, and this story of Cosmic Evolution has, in its own ways, evolved since Georges Edward Lemaitre, the all-famous Belgian astronomer, conceived the idea of the Big Bang. According to Isaac Asimov, it was Lemaitre who conceived the beginning mass (that began the expansion of the Big Bang theory) to be twelve trillion miles across.

Then, in 1965 that figure was reduced to 275 million miles,
by 1972 to 71 million miles,
by 1974 they said it was only 54 thousand miles,
and by 1983, scientists said it was only "a trillionth the diameter of a proton"
And today, some would even say it was nothing at all! A singularity! Something non-existant and smaller than a period in this text.

Even the predicted age of the Universe has changed.
It has gone from only a few millennia, to a dozen billion, in only a century!

It would also seem that an origin of creation by a God would be so much more credible because of its consistency, simplicity, and even its harmonic relationship with the scientific evidence we already have.

A religion that claims a spaghetti God created the universe would be more credible!
Because every year, when it comes to the Big Bang theory, we think we have the answer, and we think we know that this is the right solution; but every following year, we always come up with ways to assimilate this theory into the new evidence we find, and it always changes the theory completely.

And with that, I ask once again the you readers, remain open minded as you read both arguments and rebuttals here on out. Because finding the origin of the Universe, and life itself, is something that has interested human kind for thousands of years-- and is not something we should be so quick to believe in, when the most popular theory of Cosmic Evolution is currently going under an evolution itself!


[1] http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...
[2] www.space.com/24054-how-old-is-the-universe.html
[3] http://science.howstuffworks.com...
[4] http://www.pbs.org...;
[5] https://answersingenesis.org...;
Debate Round No. 2
KafkaF

Pro

Rebuttals

A: The First Law of Thermodynamics

One of the common misconceptions about the Big Bang theory is that it attempts to explain where the Universe came from, while in fact it doesn't. The Big Bang theory only explains what happened after the Universe started expanding from the singularity in the beginning, not what happened before. However, since the Big Bang theory is usually associated with this problem, I am still going to attempt to provide a rebuttal.

First of all, there is actually a significant theory that states that the sum of all the energy in the Universe is, in fact, zero.[1][2] Basically, all of the positive energy of the Universe is cancelled out by the negative energy created by gravity. This would mean that the creation of the Universe wouldn't break the first law of thermodynamics, since if it was really created out of nothing, the sum energy would have to be zero as well, which it likely is to begin with.

So, how did the original nothing transform into a positive and negative, whose sum is also zero? How was all of the matter created? The best explanation likely lies in the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Without going into too much detail of the principle itself, it is known that these things called virtual particles exist. These are particles that have basically been created because of a quantum fluctuation in a vacuum, technically nothing. The reason these things aren't filling the Universe right now is that they have a very short lifespan since they form in pairs and almost instantly get to cancel each other out[3]. So the Universe could have actually been a result of a sufficiently large quantum fluctuation.

B: Some simple questions

I have already answered the first three questions in the rebuttal for A.

The steady state model is obsolete, so I am not arguing for it, obviously.

As for the Big Bounce theory, you have provided no source on your claim that the Big Bounce theory would imply that the Universe only has a few more million years to live. Also, the Big Bounce theory does not fall into the scope of what I am arguing for, since it deals with the end, and potentially creation of the Universe, not it's early evolution.

Quote:"With this debate, I am not arguing for another theory on the origin of the Universe, but I am arguing that the Big Bang theory is not the most credible scientific on the evolution of the Universe, because it is full of so many assumptions and variation; how could it be the most credible, when we can't make up our minds about what it actually is!"

First of all, I would just like to reassure you that you are arguing for the correct thing - that the Big Bang theory is not the most credible scientific theory on the early evolution of the Universe.

Second, just because a particular theory has many variants does not make it less credible. For example, evolution in the late 19th century and early 20th century had many variants. Does it make it any less credible today? Of course not.

Quote:"The Big Bang theory has changed over the years, and this story of Cosmic Evolution has, in its own ways, evolved since Georges Edward Lemaitre, the all-famous Belgian astronomer, conceived the idea of the Big Bang. According to Isaac Asimov, it was Lemaitre who conceived the beginning mass (that began the expansion of the Big Bang theory) to be twelve trillion miles across.

Then, in 1965 that figure was reduced to 275 million miles,
by 1972 to 71 million miles,
by 1974 they said it was only 54 thousand miles,
and by 1983, scientists said it was only "a trillionth the diameter of a proton"
And today, some would even say it was nothing at all! A singularity! Something non-existant and smaller than a period in this text.

Even the predicted age of the Universe has changed.
It has gone from only a few millennia, to a dozen billion, in only a century!"

It's called science. Theories constantly change as new discoveries are made. For example, less than 1000 years ago we thought that our Solar System is the only one, and that all the stars in the skies aren't other "Sun's" similar to ours. Then, we thought that our galaxy is the entire Universe. Then, we thought that the Universe is infinite, and now we think that it is simply huge, but not infinite.

Quote:"It would also seem that an origin of creation by a God would be so much more credible because of its consistency, simplicity, and even its harmonic relationship with the scientific evidence we already have."

I am not sure what you are exactly advocating here. If you are actually arguing for Young Earth Creationism, I am sorry, but there is just too much evidence against this to even put in this round, and that is not what the debate is about anyway. Also, take into account these two facts:

1. Just a few paragraphs ago you have argued that the Big Bang theory is less credible due to it's many variations. Views on a supreme being are even more varied, so one of these arguments has to be incorrect.

2. 300 years ago we thought that a supreme being created the Earth and Solar system, since we had no idea about any other possible mechanism which could have done this. Then, one day someone came up with an idea- that Earth was formed through the accretion of dust around the Sun. Now we know that this is the mechanism through which planets form, not a supreme being.

One cannot just dismiss any scientific theory because a supreme being is a simpler explanation.

[1]http://www.astrosociety.org...
[2]Edward P. Tryon, "Is the Universe a Vacuum Fluctuation?", Nature, vol. 246, p.396
[3]http://www.scientificamerican.com...
CentristX

Con

I want to thank the Pro, once again, for posting his rebuttals punctually and accordingly.

Also, I wanted to first make it clear, that even though I've mentioned Young Earth Creationism, doesn't mean that I'm arguing for it, nor does it mean that it is what I believe.

1. The Cosmic microwave background radiation

The CMBR of the Universe, as KaFkaF stated, is basically the different temperatures of the Universe, or in this case, the one temperature the Universe is now.

The Pro argued that an early homogenous universe is proof for the Big Bang-- however, it could also be used as a statement in the alternate direction.

When we see now, different cosmic backgrounds at different locations and temperatures in the Universe, the question arises as to how these extremely seperated CMB were close enough to signal a light velocity travel. And how would they have been capable of having a homogenous temperature, being so far apart?

Or in simpler words, on one side of the Earth, we see CMBR; and to the other side, we see CMBR, at the same exact temperature as the other side. But as a diameter, the distance between to two sides is an approximated 28 billion light years.

All of this, naturally, can be explained by "inflation" or,

2. The expansion of the Universe

Which for one, doesn't always fit as evidence for the Big Bang theory.

I am not stupid, like a lot of other people on this website, and I am not going to argue against the obvious.

The Universe is apparently expanding, yes, but that does not mean it was ever infinitely small; and it doesn't mean that this expansion was caused by a big bang.

It is the natural assumption, sure, but not the only solution.

3. The abundance of light elements(Hydrogen, Helium)

Any creationist could easily use this as evidence for Young Earth creationism.

It is even claimed that a God used Hydrogen and Helium as "building blocks",
that the different metallicities of stars represents the variety of "creation",
and how the sudden appearance of Hydrogen and Helium was a product and result of a universe created by a supreme being.

4. The large scale structure of the Universe

Same as number 3; could be used to counter the big bang theory by creationists.


You could even argue now, that just because somebody could use a piece of evidence for a positive and negative standpoint, it doesn't make the evidence wrong.

That is completely true, however, even you stated, a positive amount of something plus a negative amount of something with the same absolute value, will ultimately equal zero.

Therefore, I am meaning to say that any evidence that be used by both sides to counter each other, is insufficient evidence for either side of an argument.

To blatantly prove the superior credibility of the Big Bang Theory, you must have solid, unfaltering evidence that could never, in a million years be used for Young Earth creationism as well.

Quote: "Second, just because a particular theory has many variants does not make it less credible."

Let me briefly define the word "credible" for you:

": able to be believed : reasonable to trust or believe :" [5]

I am arguing that the Big Bang theory is NOT the most credible theory on the evolution of the early universe,
and the reason being because of the faltering and shifting evidence it provides, along with the variation of the theory over time, which decreases it's reasonability to trust or believe.

Imagine if a person you know lended money to you. After a while, you both forget how much money was loaned in the first place, so this person decides to give you an estimate. Last year, he said it was only 5 dollars. A couple months ago, he claimed this loaned amount to be 100 dollars. Weeks ago, it became 6,000 dollars. And just yesterday, it was made known you now owe him one million dollars.

Certainly you would lose crediblility and belief in this person you know, for three reasons:

1) What kind of person wouldn't mind paying up to a million dollars, after only owing $5?

2) This person's constant indecisiveness, you could say, would lose anybody's faith!

3) If neither of you could remember, what proof does he have that you owe now, 1 million dollars?


I know it seems as if I'm beating around the bush, but my point is:

A) Yes, variants and altercations do make theories less credible.

and,

B) Were you there, to know exactly what happened at the dawn of the Universe.

Also, when I say "varied", or "variation", I mean two things.

The one, where there are different kinds of the same theory CURRENTLY,

and the "varied" where there one kind of the theory differs OVER TIME.


Which leads to my over all point:

We started, as far back as we can tell, believing that a supreme being created everything.

Then we "learned" that the origin of everything was sparked by nothing at all.

I know what science is. And science says another step is coming soon. Science, as we all know it, is not just experimenting and deducing and finding new problems and new evidence to solve every altercation.

Science means to encompass new ideas, find evidence that supports it, and then continue to use evidence to back up the theories we like.






http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...

https://answersingenesis.org...


[5] http://www.merriam-webster.com...;

http://archive.ncsa.illinois.edu...;

http://archive.ncsa.illinois.edu...

http://www.cnn.com...;
Debate Round No. 3
KafkaF

Pro

Since this is the last round, I'd like to thank my opponent for an interesting debate.

1. The Cosmic microwave background radiation

"Or in simpler words, on one side of the Earth, we see CMBR; and to the other side, we see CMBR, at the same exact temperature as the other side. But as a diameter, the distance between to two sides is an approximated 28 billion light years."

The Universe is relatively homogeneous when viewed at a large enough scale even today. The fact that these two portions of the CMB are(or were) very distant from each other is irrelevant since the Universe shows a very similar structure everywhere even today.

The reason why the Universe was so homogeneous in the past is because the Universe supposedly started out completely homogeneous, and the only things which could cause asymmetry were quantum fluctuations. The changes caused by these quantum fluctuations were so small that it took a very long time until gravity and other forces started actually making noticeable asymmetry.

2. The expansion of the Universe

"The Universe is apparently expanding, yes, but that does not mean it was ever infinitely small; and it doesn't mean that this expansion was caused by a big bang."

Technically, it does. If the Universe started expanding only at some point and was previously just 'standing still' it would mean that it eternally existed before that and it has been proven that the Universe didn't eternally exist.

3. The abundance of light elements(Hydrogen, Helium)

"Any creationist could easily use this as evidence for Young Earth creationism.

It is even claimed that a God used Hydrogen and Helium as "building blocks",
that the different metallicities of stars represents the variety of "creation",
and how the sudden appearance of Hydrogen and Helium was a product and result of a universe created by a supreme being."

Irrelevant.

First of all, YEC is completely scientifically inaccurate, which can be proven through radiometric dating, the distances to other galaxies, etc.(not to go into too much detail, since that is not what the topic is about).

Second, this does not undermine the fact that the abundance of light elements is evidence for the Big Bang, so it does not undermine the Big Bang theory either.

4. The large scale structure of the Universe

"Same as number 3; could be used to counter the big bang theory by creationists."

Again, irrelevant. Creationists could not use it to counter the Big Bang theory, they could only use it as evidence for their own hypothesis, which has much less evidence anyway.

Again, you cannot just try to "disprove" any scientific theory with the logic "God did it". YEC has so much evidence that disproves it that it is not a valid scientific theory. The Big Bang theory, on the other hand, has practically no evidence against it, and evidence for it just keeps pilling up.

I could also say that gravity does not exist and that an undetectable, magic spaghetti monster is in fact just pulling the objects down to the ground itself. Can you prove that statement wrong? No. But can it qualify as a scientific theory? No.

I apologize for being so blunt, but this is a debate, after all.

As for the rest of your arguments, I am not going to respond to them since they were supposed to be presented in the 4th round, and it would be unfair if I tried to refute them now.
CentristX

Con

"The Big Bang theory, on the other hand, has practically no evidence against it, and evidence for it just keeps pilling up."

This is because every piece of evidence that shows up against the Big Bang always conforms its theory in order to avoid conflict with this new evidence.

This is what we call science.

Even with all the evidence against it, YEC does the same exact thing, by using "science" to assimilate the theory to go along with new evidence found.

This whole debate, I argued that the Big Bang is not currently the most credible scientific theory on the evolution of the early universe.

Even though I used YEC as a most often counter-argument (because it is the most often used), "science" can be used with more theories, to morph theories in co-existence with evidence, or vice versa.

My argument can only be hazed if not seen with an open mind, so assuming any reader has read the whole debate, with an open mind, I thank you for that.

I also thank the Pro for this debate.
Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by KafkaF 2 years ago
KafkaF
I really hope someone votes on this debate so that it doesn't stay unresolved...
Posted by Ajab 2 years ago
Ajab
How do you have a debate on the Big Bang theory without mentioning dark matter?
Posted by LifeMeansGodIsGood 2 years ago
LifeMeansGodIsGood
Centrist, did you know your vote awarding me 7 points was removed? Airmax the moderator is your friend? was he the one who cancelled your vote?
Posted by CentristX 2 years ago
CentristX
I am interested in taking this debate.
Posted by dwkwvss 2 years ago
dwkwvss
Oh I'm sorry. It's inflation theory. I didn't remember correctly. But yes. I meant inflation.
Posted by KafkaF 2 years ago
KafkaF
Could you please post me a link to a website that explains this, since I don't understand what you are referring to.
Posted by dwkwvss 2 years ago
dwkwvss
Well... the Expansion theory is a revision on the big bang theory that shortly after the big bang, a period of near infinite expansion occurred for a brief period of time. It's a little different from the original big bang theory. Big bang theory as was originally proposed is considered obsolete. I like this topic, but I wanted to know if I could tackle it in terms of the ineffectiveness of its original premises, and the recent results on the theories that seem to have lead to a lot of weird conclusions.

It's hard to completely refute bbt as a whole, but it is possible to argue against "most credible" if you talk about parts of the "new" big bang theory.
Posted by USPharaoh 2 years ago
USPharaoh
Right, so the Big Bang and expansion need to be considered together as one. This would immediately drop out many of the other competing theories like Bouncing and Bubble universes.
I also think that one of the parameters that must be established is the homogeneous nature of our universe.....that the rules of nature and laws of physics that apply in our observable (event horizon) will and do apply across all of the universe as a whole.
I would also think that to clearly debate this then there can be no discussions about what was before the Big Bang and what caused it. The vector would be at the point of the Bang and all points beyond....nothing before it.
Posted by KafkaF 2 years ago
KafkaF
By the 'Big Bang theory' I mean the following: "The Universe started out as a single point, which then expanded and gradually cooled. Eventually, stars, galaxies and other objects began to form and the Universe started becoming what it is today."

By the expansion theory, do you mean the expansion of the Universe? If so, I would definitely have to defend it as well, since the Big Bang theory wouldn't make much sense without it.
Posted by dwkwvss 2 years ago
dwkwvss
I guess I'm just asking whether you're restricting yourself to the original version of the big bang theory, without the drastic revisions that have been made on it..?
No votes have been placed for this debate.