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Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

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spacer    980

The Big Bang Theory explains the observed motion of all of the objects in time and space. But it doesn't really account for the inflation problem and uniform cooling problem. There are a number of assumptions made with the Big Bang Theory. It can never truly be proven one way or another. At this point in time, with out limited understanding of physics, it's simply the best explanation we have so far.

 

So arguing against it isn't really far fetched. However, if you start bringing religion and faith into it, then yes you're barking up the wrong tree.

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McKay    3,695

No one dies without intending to do so.

 

There are no 'accidents'.

 

You are only seeing the surface of events.

 

What? No accidents? Im sure most people who died, did it without intending to do so. 

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Setnom    690

Funny thing, Science and Evolution + Big Bang takes faith. You really can't deny that.

 

The definition of faith is believing in something without any evidence for it (for instance, believing in the tooth fairy). We have evidence for evolution and the Big Bang, so it's not a matter of faith. But you CAN say scientists have confidence levels.

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Astra.Xtreme    2,081

The Big Bang Theory explains the observed motion of all of the objects in time and space. But it doesn't really account for the inflation problem and uniform cooling problem. There are a number of assumptions made with the Big Bang Theory. It can never truly be proven one way or another. At this point in time, with out limited understanding of physics, it's simply the best explanation we have so far.

 

So arguing against it isn't really far fetched. However, if you start bringing religion and faith into it, then yes you're barking up the wrong tree.

You don't need to know all the variables in order to prove something true.  

For example, if somebody crashes their car, not knowing the speed of the crash doesn't make the event of the crash any less true.

As technology progresses, we'll be able to make more precise measurements and fill in the gaps. 

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+T3X4S    4,327

I exist, but I can't prove it currently.

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blerk    316

Re: Big Bang - not settled.

In the last few years there have been several papers by non-woo-woo's about how the Big Bang is not necessary to explain current observations.

If large segments of the public are sceptical of the Big Bang it may well have nothing to do with the 'R-word' but a reasonable resonse to cosmology's own growing internal debate, which has made it into mass science media.

Also, religion does not inherently dismiss the Big Bang, only a very few (loud) literalists.

The FACT is that the Big Bang was first proposed by Monseigneur George Lema?tre, a Belgian Roman Catholic priest, in his "hypothesis of the primeval atom." Einstein was at first skeptical, but later supported his proposals. Lema?tre was ahead of the curve on many things usually ascribed to others.

In 1951 Pope Pius XII said that the Big Bang and the Catholic concept of creation were compatible. That has not changed, and the vast majprity of Christian denominations agree. Even many conservative denominations. Even many Evangelicals, like we Evangelical Lutherans.

 

I doubt that the public at large is aware of any conflict within cosmology. (I bet a majority of the U.S. public can't even define "cosmology"). The more likely explanation is that the public who do not agree with the Big Bang Theory do not accept it because it is easier to completely dismiss the theory than to meld their particular faith/belief with the current best theory. 

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spacer    980

You don't need to know all the variables in order to prove something true.  

For example, if somebody crashes their car, not knowing the speed of the crash doesn't make the event of the crash any less true.

As technology progresses, we'll be able to make more precise measurements and fill in the gaps. 

True, but using your analogy: If you were inspecting the crash and you found a cell phone on the floor of the car what does that mean? Did the driver crash because they were using their phone and not paying attention, or did the car crash because of something else and the phone is simply a coincidence? You can't know just by looking at the crash.

 

The same can be said of the Big Bang Theory and things like the inflation problem. Sure looking at the universe as it is now definitely lends credence to the Big Bang Theory. But when you look at the heat distribution of galaxies and their densities, the Big Bang Theory doesn't fit what we observe with our current knowledge of physics. Unless we assume there was a phase of super inflation directly after the Big Bang. But that is just an assumption since we can't objectively prove it or explain how this inflation happened. And no, "because dark matter" isn't an explanation.

 

If we ever advance far enough such that we can explain these assumptions and unknowns made about the early universe, then sure the Big Bang Theory will then be absolute fact. But until then it really is our best educated guess.

 

 

Full disclosure, I believe the Big Bang Theory is actually what happened billions of years ago. I just think it's an incomplete picture of what happened, and it should be called the "The Big Bang Hypothesis."

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DocM    12,604

I agree that inflation is a huge problem and the Big Bang should be called a hypothesis regardless of the Nobels attached to it.

Science says on one hand that electromagnetic waves and gravity are limited to "the speed of light." To buy into early inflation you have to accept it initially occurred at some far superluminal speed, then suddenly slowed.

Then there are the heat and velocity distributions in galaxies. And more.

Hmmm....

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+ctebah    2,742

Science says on one hand that electromagnetic waves and gravity are limited to "the speed of light." To buy into early inflation you have to accept it initially occurred at some far superluminal speed, then suddenly slowed.

Then there are the heat and velocity distributions in galaxies. And more,

Hmmm....

 

I don't see how any of those go against the Big Bang Theory.

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Krome    203

The "Poll:" part of the title of this thread suggest to me that there's a poll part of this thread.  I got fooled many times already by that text alone.  Learned after the click that I came to this thread a couple times already right after.  You might want to remove that "Poll:" from the title.  Very misleading :)

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Shiranui    1,677

The excellent new COSMOS series should be compulsory viewing for all Americans.

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compl3x    6,252

Re: Big Bang - not settled.

In the last few years there have been several papers by non-woo-woo's about how the Big Bang is not necessary to explain current observations.

If large segments of the public are sceptical of the Big Bang it may well have nothing to do with the 'R-word' but a reasonable resonse to cosmology's own growing internal debate, which has made it into mass science media.

Also, religion does not inherently dismiss the Big Bang, only a very few (loud) literalists.

The FACT is that the Big Bang was first proposed by Monseigneur George Lema?tre, a Belgian Roman Catholic priest, in his "hypothesis of the primeval atom." Einstein was at first skeptical, but later supported his proposals. Lema?tre was ahead of the curve on many things usually ascribed to others.

In 1951 Pope Pius XII said that the Big Bang and the Catholic concept of creation were compatible. That has not changed, and the vast majprity of Christian denominations agree. Even many conservative denominations. Even many Evangelicals, like we Evangelical Lutherans.

 

 

Do you honestly think the average Joe in the street who "questions" the big bang theory has his finger on the pulse of cosmology and astrophysics? Get real.

 

This rant about who first proposed the big bang theory has nothing to do with anything. It could have been an Inuit who was scientifically literate. I can absolutely guarantee you that the Monseigneur used exactly 0% of his Bible to form his theory & a further 0% was used to corroborate his hypothesis. I'm also willing to bet people who reject the Big Bang, the age of the earth and evolutionary theory do so overwhelmingly on religious grounds. What's the alternative reason? They've studied these  fields, looked at the considerable evidence corroborating them and decided it is all false? Unlikely.

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DocM    12,604

I think that's a small part of public skepticism.

What's devastating is the constant back & forth about what's "good for you" and what isn't, $$$expensive studies of shrimp running on a treadmill that go viral, and all manner of other contradictory claims, retracted claims and discredited claims just causes the populace to be skeptical of ALL of it. Science, politics, whatever.

"there go the propeller-heads again!"

These days they all have the credibility of used car salesmen.

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Beittil    364

The excellent new COSMOS series should be compulsory viewing for all Americans.

Not just Americans imho... that show is being broadcast in over a 180 countries around the world I believe! EVERYBODY should watch it as far as I am concerned.

 

In either case, as long as the general public is more concerned about what color Justin Bieber's poop was this week and not about something such as... I don't know... asteroids buzzing our planet all the time, I fear we are lost :P

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Mugwump00    126

Do I accept scientific theories? Sure. Does that also mean we can't question them? If we didn't question scientific theories, we wouldn't advance our understanding of anything.

 

Precisely!  Scientific theories are the antithesis of absolutes/"gospels".  It is the 'agreed probability' of the big-bang that explains how the night-sky isn't entirely star-light - self-evident to me/anyone?

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Mugwump00    126

...What's devastating is the constant back & forth about what's "good for you" and what isn't...

 

There was quite some "back & forth" over cigarettes/cancer, wasn't there?  Agendas clearly get in the way of objective studies, but eventually as the public accepts the evidence for themselves, these issues are overcome.   Minnesotans might be skeptical regarding climate-change, whereas people of south Devon or Tacloban might be seeing things differently.

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Stokkolm    274

Do you honestly think the average Joe in the street who "questions" the big bang theory has his finger on the pulse of cosmology and astrophysics? Get real.

 

This rant about who first proposed the big bang theory has nothing to do with anything. It could have been an Inuit who was scientifically literate. I can absolutely guarantee you that the Monseigneur used exactly 0% of his Bible to form his theory & a further 0% was used to corroborate his hypothesis. I'm also willing to bet people who reject the Big Bang, the age of the earth and evolutionary theory do so overwhelmingly on religious grounds. What's the alternative reason? They've studied these  fields, looked at the considerable evidence corroborating them and decided it is all false? Unlikely.

My instinct is that most people who reject the Big Bang do so for no reason at all. They simply don't care. That's probably worse that rejecting it on religious grounds.

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compl3x    6,252

My instinct is that most people who reject the Big Bang do so for no reason at all. They simply don't care. That's probably worse that rejecting it on religious grounds.

 

 

Indifference and rejection aren't really the same thing. If you don't care about this topic, which I imagine is a lot of people, that is fine. If you say you don't care but  you think the people who do care and study this stuff seriously are all wrong that is a different story all together.

 

There are a lot of scientific disciplines I have no interest in but I would never tell those who are that their state of knowledge is wrong just because I can't understand it or it contradicts some other belief I have.

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Stokkolm    274

Indifference and rejection aren't really the same thing. If you don't care about this topic, which I imagine is a lot of people, that is fine. If you say you don't care but  you think the people who do care and study this stuff seriously are all wrong that is a different story all together.

 

There are a lot of scientific disciplines I have no interest in but I would never tell those who are that their state of knowledge is wrong just because I can't understand it or it contradicts some other belief I have.

I think you are putting too much faith in peoples intelligence.

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compl3x    6,252

I think you are putting too much faith in peoples intelligence.

 

Alas, that is a bit of a failure of mine.

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