Is the Big Bang theory Scientific?

7 Answers
I have read some articles that claimed that the Big Bang Theory was not scientific because it did not provide evidence to explain how the universe could come into existence out of nothing and from nothing. What is your view on this?

First the Big Bang Theory is basic science and quite thoroughly established by observation, measurement, repetition, and multiple independent analyses.

The origins of this theory stem from a hypothesis by Georges Lemaitre that there may have been some type of a primeval atom as a starting point. Father Lemaitre had a Jesuit education with a doctorate at Catholic Univ. of Louvain and post-doctoral work in cosmology and astrophysics at both Cambridge and Harvard. He taught at Louvain. His work in 1927 on an expanding universe was mostly ignored. In 1931 his idea of an exploding cosmic egg gained very serious attention, but it was mostly skeptical.

He met with Einstein at various times from 1927 to 1933, and Lemaitre's publication in 1933 was a detailed explanation of an expanding universe. From that point on, his hypothesis developed into the Big Bang Theory, and that label was added by Fred Hoyle in 1949--which has massive irony because Hoyle was strongly inclined to the Steady State Theory of the universe, which is now rarely considered as workable.

Einstein's theory of relativity, and its many proofs, strongly supported the Big Bang. The ideas of the Hubble Constant and the Hubble diagram of specific galactic shapes were actually "posited" by Lemaitre somewhat before Hubble's observations. Both concepts as well as Hubble's discovery of redshift in the observed light of moving galaxies strongly support the Big Bang.

Discovery of the cosmic radiation background took place shortly before Lemaitre's death in 1966. This was clearly the most confirming proof for his Big Bang Theory. The recent discoveries of dark matter and dark energy contribute to the proofs for the Big Bang.

Presently, almost all cosmologists and astrophysicists recognize the Big Bang Theory as the simplest and most elegant explanation of our universe. There are 4 basic "proofs," or confirming observations for the Big Bang:
1. The Hubble expansion as seen in the redshift of galaxies
2. What appears to be the "evolution" of galaxies over very long times
3. The remarkable abundance of light elements generated in the earliest minutes of the Big Bank
4. The incredible spread of galaxies throughout the universe--numbers, sizes, and distribution

There are several problems inherent to the Big Bang Theory as an explanation for the observed universe. But it is the prevailing model at present.

And, no, the Big Bang Theory does not hypothesize that the universe came out of nothing. Our universe developed from a singularity which can be defined (generally as per Penrose-Hawking) in terms of all matter being compressed into a point--this develops from solutions of the Einstein field equations. While there are no proofs, and many unsolved problems, the singularity (cosmic egg) would contain all matter/energy at the beginning of time, about 13.77 billion years ago, and its sudden expansion generated our universe.


I am not sure where you read the particular articles and I would be very interested to know. But from what you are describing, the authors have completely misunderstood their sources, or they have used sources which have been misinformed or simply do not understand science at all.

In no way does the Big Bang theory ever claim to explain the moments before the Big Bang. The Big Bang theory explains just as the name suggest, the state of our current universe from the event of Big Bang, nothing before. Everything about that are just speculations that any serious scientific author would avoid and even if not, would clearly state that what they write are speculations. There will, however, always exist people who for one or other reason find every possible way to discredit the Big Bang theory and science in general out of personal, religious or other irrational reasons.

The Big Bang theory is supported by decades of observations and also other theories, such as the relativity theory by Einstein, the expansion of the universe by Hubble. Just as any other theories, it is found to be believable based on the experimental observations. It by no means claim that it is the "God" of science, it has just as much weight as any other credible theory in science. If someone can present a better theory, then I am sure that theory will replace the Big Bang theory. However, currently, the Big Bang theory is the most simple and elegant explanation of the state our universe exist in today. As with most things, the most elegant and simple explanations tend to also be the correct ones.


The articles mentioned in the original question claim that the Big Bang theory isn't scientific because it doesn't explain how something could come from "nothing." This tells me that either the authors of the articles don't understand the basic precepts of science or, more likely, they are attempting to mislead (or have been misled themselves), probably because of some ideological or theological bias.

A scientific theory is much more than a mere educated guess. It is the ultimate product of any inquiry using the scientific method, involving hypotheses, objective observation, prediction and testing. It's purpose is to explain, as comprehensively as possible, some aspect or feature of nature. If it doesn't address other questions -- even if those other question are closely related -- it doesn't mean the theory is no longer scientific.

The Big Bang theory doesn't specifically address the origins of the physical universe -- only its earliest moments, building on the hypothesis that it massively inflated from a singularity. And the observable structure of the universe seems to confirm the predictions arising from the theory.


I agree with you Djrcap11
It is just a theory and well how everyone knows, that there have been many theories and many of them have been disapproved. If you want you can believe in theory made without very essential part - beginning.It is kind a funny, that the Big Bang theory kind a give us explanation about beginning, but in the same time does not give anything about very beginning.
Like you said: " how the universe could come into existence out of nothing and from nothing". It actually can't! So if you believe in it it is up from you or you rather believe in God. Like I have sometimes question, who made God and what was before God, but well then I get headache if I even start to think about it.
I personally believe in God not in the big bang theory.


Although the Big Bang theory is unproven it is scientific in that it explains a lot of observations including:

* Expansion of the Universe;
* Cosmic background radiation;
* Nucleosynthesis of the light elements;
* Large-scale structure of universe including formation of galaxies.

TheBig Bang theory is not complete as it says nothing about what might have happened before the Big Bang. This is where other candidates for a 'theory of everything' come on the scene for example string theory. However, all theories are just that. Theories.


I don't think anyone can explain why there is something instead of nothing. That goes for science and religion. How did the universe come from nothing? How did God or your god come from nothing? The only thing I can think of is that there was always something. The big bang theory is just a theory but it is based on observation. It is more of an educated guess than a fact but it seems logical.


The Big Bang Theory doesn't propose that everything came from nothing, most scientists believe there was never such a thing as nothing and some things like energy and matter always existed.