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Creationism vs Evolution

  1. Oct 27, 2013 #1
    Alright, I'll start off just saying, the title really isn't my question, but it is related. I was tasked with the job of creating/giving a presentation about creationism vs evolution. Of course it isn't supposed to be about the subject as a whole, but a specific topic within that broad subject. I would love for my presentation to be about the big bang theory, but of course, that subject was taken immediately. My question is, are there any topics out there involving cosmology and/or astronomy that in some way discuss creationism vs evolution in the manner that the big bang theory does? Thank you for your time.
     
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  3. Oct 27, 2013 #2

    phinds

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    I'll be perfectly happy if someone here can help you out, but I must tell you, this is a science forum and we do not discuss crap like creationism. I realize that you are not espousing creationism, but nonetheless, read the forum rules. Creationism is banned.
     
  4. Oct 27, 2013 #3
    Sure, I understand. I don't want to discuss that in these forums or argue either side. I'm only wondering if there is some theory/idea out there trying to explain how the universe came to be just as the big bang theory does. I only titled this thread the way I did because that is what the presentations are supposed to try to explain. Whether it favors one view over the other doesn't matter. I'm definitely not looking to start a debate.
     
  5. Oct 27, 2013 #4

    phinds

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    Right. I assumed that was your point of view and again, I'm perfectly happy if someone here can help you out. The problem is that ANY discussion that includes the word "creationism" tends to bring crackpots to this site, which is why it is banned.
     
  6. Oct 27, 2013 #5
    cosmic background radiation , redshift ect are all good as they prove the universe is expanding thus proving a beginning thus (in a way) proving the big bang. But by proving inflation they also lead to the fact that at t=0 our math breaks down. and that according to our standard model with higgs interaction the universe should be about the size of a football.

    Is there not a cosmology portal on wikipaedia? That should be invaluable

    Oh, and welcome to Physics Forums :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2013
  7. Oct 27, 2013 #6

    marcus

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    Well there is research going on in a comparatively unpublicized alternative that could be called "Big Bounce" theory.

    It's fairly new. Several tens of researchers have gotten interested in recent years, most of them became active in the field after 2006. Roughly on the order of a hundred or so researchers scattered around the world, many in Europe and North America but also some in China, India, South America.

    The idea is that if you have a universe similar to ours in its most basic physics except CONTRACTING rather than expanding then if you model that ignoring quantum effects it would just "crunch" down to where the model fails and no longer gives finite answers.

    But if you modify the math so as to include quantum effects in your cosmic model (the general research field is called QUANTUM COSMOLOGY) many of the researchers have found a curious thing happens: the models predict a BOUNCE.

    At very high density, at extreme concentration of matter and energy, quantum effects may take over (according to many of the QC models) and in effect make gravity repel rather than attract. The models show a rebound which results in an expanding universe which quickly comes to resemble what "Big Bang" models describe.

    Here are 500 or so research papers that have appeared in the Quantum Cosmology (QC) field since 2009. They have been ranked so that the most often cited papers come first---those that have been most influential and been referred to by other researchers are listed first. So the first 50 or so are in some sense most representative of where QC research is going.

    http://inspirehep.net/search?ln=en&...search=Search&sf=&so=d&rm=citation&rg=25&sc=0

    You can see the first paper was cited 136 time, the second was referenced in 101 other research articles, and so on. So the first 25 or 50 papers show you what the dominant or prevailing ideas in the QC field are currently.

    Actually the field goes back at least to 2001 but some of the earlier ideas fizzled or didn't get picked up on by the research community. A new model appeared around 2006 that has considerable success. An Indian-born physicist named Abhay Ashtekar, at Penn State Universty, and his team, were primarily responsible for that. Their model works both in computer simulations and by setting up and solving equations. Both ways show a bounce.

    Notice that as far as concerns deep philosophical questions of EXISTENCE this cosmic model just kicks the can down the road.

    It doesn't say "how time began" if indeed time ever had a beginning. It doesn't tell us "why existence exists". It doesn't say what there was "before" there was space and matter.

    It just says that quantum effects at extreme energy concentration prevent the formation of a "singularity" and instead cause a bounce. It says that one reasonable explanation for the start of expansion of the world we see around us could be a bounce by a contracting phase.

    So time and space and matter did not begin 13.8 billion years ago according to that model. There was the same kind of stuff before the current expansion started. You might say it makes the "Big Bang" a bit less awesome.

    If for some reason this line of theoretical model building interests you, ask some more questions and I or someone else will see if there are some popular articles online about it. I suppose I could google "Ashtekar big bounce" or "Ashtekar popular bounce cosmology".
    I think he has written a few magazine articles or given a few interviews. So if you want non-technical material presenting big bounce cosmology it is probably available somewhere online.

    But the main body of what has been written recently on it is what you get in that link I gave earlier. It is a keyword search of recent research articles.
     
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