Much speculation has been made about the origin of our cosmos. The prevailing view however, is that billions of years ago, there was a single point in existence, and this point, containing the sum of the universe,  was infinitely dense. This is called the singularity. The singularity eventually exploded, as the name Big Bang suggests, and all the universe contained projected outward, expanding into the void.

sandwatchProponents of theistic evolution will no doubt hold that God created the singularity, and set it into motion, but for the atheist, or the material reductionist, how did the singularity come to exist? One of the consequences of the Big Bang Theory is the obviating of the Steady State Theory. The idea that the cosmos is infinite seems to most, as it should, illogical, a la Aquinas’ first cause. But if the Big Bang Theory is accurate, and if God does not exist or cause the Big Bang, then where did the original singularity come from? Did it call itself into existence? We know that something cannot come from nothing, so the notion that the singularity created itself, or was spontaneously produced is impossible. It then appears that the singularity always contained existence but this brings us back to the steady state theory.

Some might try to argue that the universe constantly expands and retracts, from singularity to cosmos and back again. However, recent research shows now that singularities cannot actually exist. Much of the Big Bang cosmology was based upon the notion that when stars explode and collapse in on themselves, they create a singularity. However, as Mersini-Houghton, a researcher at UNC-Chapel Hill has published, that when a star collapses it actually loses mass in the form of radiation, and as such, as it collapses inward upon itself, it no longer possesses the mass and density that it did originally, and is subsequently not a black hole as we understand them. The impossibility of the existence of singularities seems to undermine the theory of the Big Bang entirely, by essentially stating that the conditions necessary for the Big Bang to have occurred are impossible.

If the Big Bang began as a singularity, how did it become a singularity in the first place? It appears it could not have been a collapse of the universe from previous, as this would be false on two grounds. First, because it would have lost mass and nothing in the universe can be lost (according to the Conservation Laws), especially not the universe itself, and second, because even if the theory of black holes and the creation of singularities was accurate it would necessitate an infinite regress of expansion and retraction, leaving one with a hybrid of the Steady State Theory and the Big Bang once again.

A-big-bang-explosion-wallpaper-exploding-planet-deep-full-hd-1024x768This new research calls into question the scientific consensus on the origin of the universe. It reduces the Big Bang to a whimper in its effective ability to have existed in the first place as a singularity ad infinitum.  Furthermore, even if it could have existed in an infinite regression, it still cannot be its own cause. The collision of particles, supposing that this occurred within the singularity or even as a multiplicity of singularities collided still begs a question that one must answer. How did the movement begin? If two particles are supposed to have collided, from where did they receive their motion in the first place? For an object to move, and by move we mean a change in position, it would be impossible for objects to move without action upon them.

The cosmology behind the Big Bang Theory, also necessitates that the laws of physics not exist until after the Big Bang occurs, hence the reason scientists are unable to deduce what the state of existence was prior to the Big Bang occurring. Unfortunately, this notion that the laws were not ordered until post-Bang draws out the question, how did the Big Bang even occur then? If no laws of physics were in place prior to expansion, then many may infer that there would be a chaotic or relative law of physics acting which happily resulted in fixed laws at a later time, according to the universe’s necessity. This would be impossible though as the universe did not have existence yet, so the laws did not have ‘existence’ yet either according to modern cosmology.

These are questions that everyone should be asking about the Big Bang cosmology whether the new research is proven false or not. If the research is correct and the singularity cannot have existed in the first place, then the Big Bang theory appears null and void. However, should there be an alternate explanation offered later, or the research shown inaccurate, the Big Bang still has implications that reach beyond the grasp of science, insufficiently answered by empirical methods. While many may rebut that science does not yet have the answers, but someday it will, this is no less a faith claim than those who posit that God created the universe ex nihilo.

The opinions expressed by the DPS blog authors and those providing comments are theirs alone; they are not necessarily the expressions or beliefs of either the Dead Philosophers Society or Holy Apostles College & Seminary.