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Big Bang Misconceptions

  1. Oct 2, 2009 #1
    I often hear creationists claim that the Big Bang Theory states that something came out of nothing and exploded. Interestingly enough, I've found that physicists are often quote mined as saying things like "the universe came from nothing." Why would a physicists say such a thing?

    "Big Bangs occur in the sea of nothingness."
    - Michio Kaku Ph.D. Theoretical Physicist and Harvard Educated.

    Another Quote:

    "Speaking to a sold out crowd at the Berkeley Physics Oppenheimer Lecture, Hawking said yesterday that he now believes the universe spontaneously popped into existence from nothing. He said more work is needed to prove this but we have time because 'Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.'
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2009 #2
    The cause of the Big Bang is unknown. Here is a good page on this:

    http://www.aei.mpg.de/einsteinOnline/en/spotlights/big_bangs/index.html" [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Oct 7, 2009 #3
    I'm aware that there is no known cause for the big bang. That's why I don't understand some of these bizarre quotes. Why would someone like Stephen Hawking say that the universe spontaneously formed out of nothing? I don't see how someone could possibly justify such a bizarre claim if we aren't even beyond the big bang. This notion of cosmic nothingness eludes me.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Oct 7, 2009 #4


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    That the universe came from nothing is one of the current hypotheses. So I'm not sure why you're taking umbrage.

    It is speculated that - similar to how quantum flucuations in vacuum can spontaneously spawn a pair of real particles - so the universe may have simply sprung into existence as a point and then rapidly expanded to the BB we know today.
  6. Oct 7, 2009 #5


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    It is not unreasonable to postulate a universe from 'nothing'. It is certainly reasonable from a quantum physics point of view. Is it any more reasonable to assume it always was?
  7. Oct 7, 2009 #6
    To assume it aways was only begs the question as to where the previous state came from. It never really answers where those previous states came from, and so it denies any reason for those previous states. It's the same as having no explanation at all.

    But it would seem that the principle of spacetime coming into existence is consistent with space expanding with time, more of it coming into existence from .... nothing?
  8. Oct 8, 2009 #7


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    I think that's his point.

    Saying "it came from nothing" is not any more preposterous than saying "it always existed".
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