The origin of the universe is the greatest of the enigmas that are posed to the human. It’s the deepest and most transcendental mystery.
In the cover image you can see a deep space background with stardust. Credit: web “es.123rf.com”
The origin of the universe is a great enigma
The greatest enigma posed to the human being is where does the entire Universe come from and since when does it exist?
On this page, I develop six theories about the origin of our Universe:
- what the Bible says
- the Aristotelian theory
- the Copernican theory
- Newton’s contribution
- the Big Bang theory and
- Steady State theory.
We perceive a 3-dimensional space. But is the Universe 3 dimensional? We are not sure. Rather, there are indications that there are more than 3 dimensions.
Everything we think we know is subject to uncertainty and we must continue to search for a better approximation to the truth.
There is no doubt that knowing the origin of the Universe directly affects our whe way of approaching life.
What the Bible says
Astronomy is an experimental science, it is based on observed facts.
But a very relevant religious writing that is more than 3,000 years old cannot be ignored: what Genesis says about the origin of the Universe.
The Aristotelian theory
In ancient times, the only vision possible was the one that the eyes gave when they contemplated in wonder the beauty of the sunrises, when the Sun rose in the sky, emerging from the mountains and when the stars were slowly crossing the night sky.
Thus arose the theory of the great philosopher Aristotle who, having no more research possibilities, had to limit himself to visual observations and the reflections of his mind, aided, of course, by solid knowledge of geometry.
The Copernican theory
Astronomical knowledge increased when it became possible to search the skies with instruments more powerful than the human eye.
Better observations suggested new theories regarding the organization and constitution of the Universe.
However, regarding its origin, the acceptance of what the Bible says about it was universal.
With the rudimentary means available to them, they took a giant step forward in understanding the Universe, by verifying that the Earth and the planets revolve around the Sun.
Without departing from the geocentric theory of Copernicus, Newton developed the appropriate mathematical formulas to calculate the motion of the stars, from the force of gravity that he postulated.
Nor did Newton come to study the origin of the Universe but, accepting the descriptions of Copernicus, Galileo, Tycho Brahe and Kepler, his contribution to astronomy was to look for the causes that the celestial bodies moved around each other.
As the instrumental technique became more and more refined, astronomers and astrophysicists had enough data to develop theories about the origin and evolution of the Universe.
The Big Bang theory has been confirmed through the fulfillment of many of its predictions.
The famous astrophysicist Fred Hoyle was one of the great scientists who rejected the Big Bang theory.
In the 1950s, a fascinating cosmological theory was being imposed which stated that the Universe had no beginning and that it remained or will always remain more or less the same.
It is the theory known as the “steady state“. There were numerous and important scientists who supported this theory. Among them the famous Roger Penrose and the prestigious cosmologist Dennis Sciama.
But, this theory did not stand the test of time. When two young researchers, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, discovered all-pervading electromagnetic radiation coming from all directions, the scientific world began to examine what is now called the “cosmic microwave background.”
From there to definitively discard the steady state theory was only a matter of a few years.
So far there is no definitive theory
It may happen that a theory based on mathematical models is confirmed by experiments and observations.
But this does not mean that this theoretical model is absolutely correct and that it accurately reflects the nature and laws of the universe.
In fact, all experiments are done to confirm the predictions of the theory, but it is also considered to have been very successful when they are able to show that the model does not work as intended.
The important thing is to do experiments. When an experiment contradicts a theory, theorists will have to adjust their model or create a new theory. This is how physics advances.
Destroying a theory is as important as checking that the experimental results conform to it.