The Instigator
Pro (for)
12 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

We can't be sure that the Universe is actually expanding.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/28/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,380 times Debate No: 28709
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (3)




I think that science hasn't proven that the universe is expanding and I believe it isn't a gurantee either. Its definatly a theory but theres hundreds of theories out there.

Round 1 = agree/acceptance


I accept!
Debate Round No. 1


As far as physicists are concerned. They have drawn a conclusion that the universe is expanding, and from that conclusion, they have theories based on this principle. They say they believe that the universe is expanding by tracking certain celestial bodies and see they're moving further away. With this information, they concluded that since there moving away, there must have been a point where everything was really close or a singularity.

Now when I say " We can't be sure", I mean that these scientists have according to there cosmic tracking, they conclude that the universe is expanding. At the same time, they said that they can only see less than 1% of space. This statment completly contradicts the fact that we made a conclusion based on observing less than 1% of the Universe. There is so many things wrong with that and i'm sure you agree.

Therefore, there is no solid proof that the universe is expanding.


For thousands of years, astronomers wrestled with basic questions about the size and age of the universe. Does the universe go on forever, or does it have an edge somewhere? Has it always existed, or did it come to being some time in the past? In 1929, Edwin Hubble, an astronomer at Caltech, made a critical discovery that soon led to scientific answers for these questions: he discovered that the universe is expanding.

The ancient Greeks recognized that it was difficult to imagine what an infinite universe might look like. But they also wondered that if the universe were finite, and you stuck out your hand at the edge, where would your hand go? The Greeks' two problems with the universe represented a paradox - the universe had to be either finite or infinite, and both alternatives presented problems.

After the rise of modern astronomy, another paradox began to puzzle astronomers. In the early 1800s, German astronomer Heinrich Olbers argued that the universe must be finite. If the Universe were infinite and contained stars throughout, Olbers said, then if you looked in any particular direction, your line-of-sight would eventually fall on the surface of a star. Although the apparent size of a star in the sky becomes smaller as the distance to the star increases, the brightness of this smaller surface remains a constant. Therefore, if the Universe were infinite, the whole surface of the night sky should be as bright as a star. Obviously, there are dark areas in the sky, so the universe must be finite.

But, when Isaac Newton discovered the law of gravity, he realized that gravity is always attractive. Every object in the universe attracts every other object. If the universe truly were finite, the attractive forces of all the objects in the universe should have caused the entire universe to collapse on itself. This clearly had not happened, and so astronomers were presented with a paradox.

When Einstein developed his theory of gravity in the General Theory of Relativi
Debate Round No. 2


Unfortunatly, the information you copy pasted from the website listed below, only included the finite and infinite universe and the part that you meant to copy didn't fit on this page due to character restriction. The argument was solely towards the idea of the expanding universe but you talked more towards the idea of the finite and infinte aspects of the universe.

What you explained is irrelivant to the main argument, something finite or infinite could be expanding or shifting making your copy pasted argument invalid.

You failed to explain or disprove what I had layed out for you so all I can do now is assume you have no response for my arguments.

Further more, I can only highlight the idea that something we only have observed 1% cannot have solid conclusions based upon its entire movments.

Allow me to reintroduce the idea that the universe is much much older than the human race and it will also have certain properties that humans wont comprehend and this is not unheard of. There are other natural phenomenon that humans don't understand and it's ok, but as of now, we cannot make any conclusion of something much older than us of what we can see only a super tiny fraction of a fraction of 1%.

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Last week the readers of io9 asked their most nagging questions about physics to a real-live physicist. The first question: What is the Universe expanding into?

You responded to my call for questions in droves. There were over 350 comments to the post, and at least a hundred unique questions. For a few, I couldn't wait to answer. With others, I waited in vain for closure, including the reader asked me out, and another who apparently has a theory for interstellar travel that he's been working on for 20 years, but after being burned by physicists before was unwilling to provide any details.

Lots of you wanted to know what would happen if you were driving at speed of light and turn on your headlights, and I'd be remiss if I didn't shamelessly mention that my new book answers many of the questions. Chapter 1, in fact, is entitled, "What happens if I'm traveling at the speed of light and I try to look at myself in the mirror?" but this being the Internet, you want your content for free.

Over the next several days, I'll be answering the best and the weirdest, and what the hell, if you're the asker and you send me an email, we'll send you a free book!

Today's question comes from PVIII (and others, but PVIII asked first):

Ok, so I've always had this question, and I know it's very, very dumb:
So the universe is redshifting (or is blueshifting, I always forget), but either way it's either expanding or contracting from the big bang. That being said, what is it expanding INTO or FROM if it's the freakin' universe! If it's not endless, where is the end?!? How is there an end to the universe!
My mind just exploded.

I get this question a lot, and with good reason. You've seen a Science Channel special in which a dapper (presumably British) cosmologist talks knowingly about how the universe is expanding as though it's the most natural thing in the world. But to someone not trained in general relativity, it can be hard to grok what the expanding universe really means. This sor
Debate Round No. 3


I can only assume that you comy paste all your arguments because you get cut off before you get to your argument.

You are avoiding the main question with useless knowledge which doesn't relate to this topic.!

You mentioned that they asked "what the universe is expanding into". This means that you already assumed that the universe was expanding. You haven't identified that yet so don't get ahead of yourself.

Also, what you mentioned about light speed is totally irrelivent to the main argument and I question whether you even read it or you're just trolling.

So far, you've proven nothing to explain that the universe is expanding and you only assumed it did because someone on TV said so.

The Sience Channel isn't always right but it tells you how much we know. Coming back to the main argument which you've cleverly avoided up until now, we cannot make conclusion of something we haven't seen 1% no matter how many facts that little part gives. You must understand that the further science grows, we'll no more and maybe we can go from 0.00000000001% to 50% to then 99-100%. By the time we see 50%, we'd have seen certain patterns in the universe that we wouldn't have seen with the technology now.

Looking at 1 trillionth of something and making a final conclusion is insane and it's time you realize that.


Static Universe:
With the discovery that spiral nebula were, in fact, other galaxies external to our own, our concept of a Universe became one of in a Newtonian universe of infinite size and mass, galaxies spread out in infinite space. However, there is a problem with a uniform, static Universe, any density enhancements would become unstable to gravitational collapse. Thus, the whole Universe should have collapsed (or be collapsing) into a giant black hole.

In the 1930's, Edwin Hubble discovered that all galaxies have a positive redshift. In other words, all galaxies were receding from the Milky Way. By the Copernican principle (we are not at a special place in the Universe), we deduce that all galaxies are receding from each other, or we live in a dynamic, expanding Universe. This solves the problem for gravitational collapse, only small regions will collapse to form galaxies. The rest of space keeps expanding.

The expansion of the Universe is described by a very simple equation called Hubble's law; the velocity of the recession of a galaxy (determined from its redshift, see below) is equal to a constant times its distance (v=Hd). Where the constant is called Hubble's constant and relates distance to velocity in units of megaparsecs (millions of parsecs).


The key observable in extragalactic studies is the redshift of a distant galaxy. All galaxies are made of stars which emit a spectrum of electromagnetic radiation with particular fingerprint-like patterns corresponding to the quantum shells of the various elements in the star's atmospheres. The lines of hydrogen, magnesium and calcium are particularly prominate in galaxies, and can be identified with telescopes using a special instrument called a spectrograph.

A typical galaxy spectrum is shown above where the emission from the galaxy's core (3) is in the center. Also seen in the image are emission lines from the earth's night sky (2), the effects of cosmic rays (5) and a nearby star (6) appear as
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by bladerunner060 5 years ago
I think you have to define "sure". Do you mean a "reasonable certainty"? After all, we technically can't be "sure" that we didn't pop into existence as a fully formed world right this second with fake memories; there's no way to prove it. But we assume we did not, and we have a "reasonable certainty" we did not.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by johnlubba 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con did not adress the topic enough in the first two rounds, also Pro mentioned this to Con, Con kept quiblling on about a finite or infinte universe which didn't prove anything about how or if the universe is expanding. Con did mention red shift buit so briefly it was not elaborated upon. Plus it seems Con copy pasted with information clipped of the ends.
Vote Placed by jh1234l 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter richarddong, "good" is not an adequate Reason for Vote
Vote Placed by richarddong 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: good