Let’s open the new Reasonable Faith Houston blog with some basics. Let’s stay simple at first, then dig into more complex topics…let’s start with the basics of string theory. 🙂
According to string theory, the universe began as a tightly wound string with all dimensions symmetrically confined to the Planck length. The strings, in effect, bound the dimensions up to that size. Several have argued that in three or fewer dimensions, it would be likely for the strings to collide with anti-strings (an anti-string is essentially a string that is wound in the direction opposite). The collision annihilates the string and anti-string, which, in turn, unleashes the confined dimensions. These dimensions thus begin expanding, as in the inflationary and big bang theories.
With this, we have the fundamental basis for explaining the big bang, if we choose to lead the conversation that way, and understanding the inflationary period that came afterwards. Yet this still doesn’t explain reality. It only begins the conversation on the existence of the universe in which we find ourselves observing and now discussing. The question then becomes: can we agree that string theory suggest a time in the past when the universe began with a “Big Bang,” or that the universe simply had a beginning? For many there is a hangup here – the universe actually began and hasn’t always existed. They lean towards statements like “we don’t have enough information.” That sentiment seems to be stated a lot lately.
First reaching agreement that the universe began is foundational to apologetic discussions of the origins of the universe. At one point, the universe did not exist, and without consideration yet in the future, it will be nonexistent again. This successfully negates the idea that the universe has always existed, a notion that modern cosmologists generally agree is false. The real disagreement comes from what created or caused the universe to exist, not that it began! The evidence rests in a host of science:
- Large-scale homogeneity
- Hubble diagram
- Abundances of light elements
- Existence of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
- Fluctuations in the CMBR
- Large-scale structure of the universe
- Age of stars
- Evolution of galaxies
- Time dilation in supernova brightness curves
- Tolman tests
- Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect
- Integrated Sachs-Wolfe effect
- Dark Matter
- Dark Energy
Are we in agreement the Universe began to exist?