The Big Bang or Big Dud?
Debate Rounds (2)
Contention one: An expanding universe supports the Big Bang theory.
In the 1929, Edwin Hubble made an amazing discovery: that the universe is expanding. With the tools available at the time, Hubble was able to notice that the galaxies were redder than they should have been. This is due to redshift, which is like the Doppler Effect but applied to light. When an object is moving away from us, the wavelength of the light it emits becomes larger, which shifts it toward the red end of the visible spectrum.
Virtually all of the astronomical evidence available available to us today indicates that the universe is expanding. Therefore, it follows that at some point, the Universe must have been smaller; thus, the concept of a static universe is flawed. The logical conclusion is that at some point, the Universe was infinitely small: a singularity. I will expand on this later on in the debate, depending upon how my opponents responds to my case.
Contention two: The abundance of elements in the Universe exactly matches what is predicted by the Big Bang.
The Big Bang theory posits that all of the matter and energy present in the universe--as well as spacetime itself--were condensed into a single point. Essentially, after the Big Bang, the universe was extremely hot, and elementary particles such as quarks and electrons formed; soon after, protons and neutrons formed. Within a few moments, the first hydrogen atoms (consisting of only a proton and a neutron) formed, and the Universe was still hot enough for hydrogen to fuse into helium. Trace amounts of lithium and heavier elements were formed in extremely small quantities. At this point, the Universe was like a main-sequence star, fusing hydrogen into helium.
Scientists can measure the elemental content of stars that formed soon after the Big Bang (though "soon" really means thousands of years), such as red dwarves, the most common type of star in the Universe. Because they are so "cool" compared to other stars, they exhaust their hydrogen fuel extremely slowly and are still "alive" after more than 13 billion years and will only die after trillions of years (if the universe still exists by then). By taking spectra of those stars, we find that their elemental abundance is exactly what would be predicted by the Big Bang model.
Contention three: Cosmic background radiation (CMB) suggests a Universe with a beginning in the finite past.
In the 1920s, two models of the universe arose: the Big Bang model and the Steady State model, which held that the universe was static. The debate raged on until the 1960s, when the discovery of cosmic background microwave radiation (or CMB) all but disproved the Steady State model. The fact that the radiation is in the microwave portion of the EM spectrum also indicates that the universe is expanding, since the radiation is traveling away from us (and is thus shifted to the microwave portion of the EM spectrum). Furthermore, there is no place in the universe where the temperature is zero, indicating that the radiation is thermal energy. This is consistent with the Big Bang model, which predicts that CMB is thermal energy "left over" from the Big Bang. No other cosmological theory could or can explain the presence of this radiation, and it fits with the Big Bang theory.
Contention four: The large scale structure of the cosmos and the formation of galaxies.
The Big Bang model posits that after about 10,000 years, the universe had cooled enough so that gravity could "take over." This meant that matter would exert gravitational attraction on other matter and thus cause it to collapse in on itself and "cluster." We even see this today: matter is concentrated in galaxies and is not evenly dispersed throughout the cosmos. This fits with the Big Bang model, since it explains the formation of matter from super-hot conditions and the concentration of matter into galaxies and stars.
Some final pieces of evidence are that we don't ever see any stars older than 13.7 billion years, the CMB fluctuates as would be expected under a Big Bang paradigm, and light curves from distant Type Ia supernovae indicate that the Universe is expanding at an accelerating rate.
All of these contentions independently verify the Big Bang Theory, which has come to be accepted by nearly every astronomer and cosmologist.
talacon1 forfeited this round.
abviolin2 forfeited this round.
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