I recently became aware of a theory that may answer that question. It was on a special about Stephen Hawking . Basically, he said at the moment of the Big Bang the universe was a super dense particle, or singularity, smaller than a proton. It randomly exploded to become the known universe. He goes on to say that the universe has only two things, energy and space. Based on Einstein's work matter is also a form of energy. There are positive energies (stars, planets, comets) and negative energy (gravity). When all these energies are added together the resulting sum of the entire universe will be....................zero! So there you are. There is still nothing.
Of course any bible-thumper will declare that the stupidest thing they ever heard.
Gullibility has a name; it's roland707 until he thinks, not merely believes.
Ignore him. He is anti-big bang theory.
Susan, do you think for a moment that I will allow folks deluded by a Catholic priest's BB theory to ignore me? There are too many non-BB theorists to ignore.
BB cosmology requires too many goddidits, one of which is Alan Guth's inflation. Imagine, if you can, the universe expanding faster than the speed of light for a few billionths of a second.
Dragging space and time with it, another goddidit.
It is entirely within reason for BB theorists to want to keep their taxpayer subsidies. They want to keep their jobs and the money buys a lot of PR.
(Guth might be a distant cousin; he carries a great grandmother's name and she had a brother. It's positively embarrassing.)
Tom, I think you'll find that there are NO "goddidits" in Big Bang theory, and that both Lawrence Krauss and Stephen Hawking would concur with that sentiment. Indeed, Krauss wrote an entire book regarding A Universe from Nothing, a concept which, while not especially intuitive or yielding to common sense, still has support from hard observation and a current understanding of the laws of quantum physics. Granted that the BBT was originated by Monsignor Georges Lemaître, as Christopher Hitchens would say, "a priest in holy orders." Still, it remains a theory with the predominance of evidence supporting it, never mind the majority of those expert in that branch of physics.
I submit that Hawking and Krauss know far more about the issue than either you or I do. If you have evidence to the contrary, present it, not to us but to THEM.
Loren, if you are using the term "goddidit" literally, as creationists do when they say their god made a fully functioning eye, then I agree that there are no "goddidits" in BB cosmology.
However, BB cosmologists do fill gaps in their story with explanations:
1) that they know violate long-established physical laws, such as inflation which requires matter to move faster than light, or
2) for which they have no, and will never have, evidence, such as the appearance of space and time with their BB.
Those are but two of BB cosmology's "goddidits."
Which is more certain to fail,
1) asking creationists to think independently of their preachers?
2) asking BB supporters to think independently of Krause and Hawking?
Tom, you want to think of the speed of light as an absolute. You also want to treat space as inflexible.
Space is warp-able. If it can bend under the influence of gravity, then there may exist a possibility that it can stretch under the influence of dark energy. As for light,186,300 mps is its top speed in a vacuum ... but if a spacecraft could warp space to achieve supra-light speeds, what happens to light when it travels through stretched space? Oh, and EMF? Sorry, but I can't see it having the long-range influence that Plasma Cosmology says it must. Electromagnetic Force as always been a local player. The big game remains gravity's, at least until dark matter and dark energy can be more fully quantified ... presuming they ARE there, and no, I don't make that assumption, though there's a whole lot of mass we're missing to account for observed phenomena, as well as the red shift which Hubble saw.
In all of this, I don't see Plasma Cosmology getting it done, nor do I see it garnering a whole lot of serious attention in the physics community. For me, for now, I'm sticking with the BBT. That's MY conclusion.
Loren, there has been some excellent scifi writing done. It rightly wins many readers, but how many scientists use it as evidence?
If [space] can bend under the influence of gravity, ....
Everything I've read about gravitational lensing says the paths that light follows are bendable. Sketching space to resemble a trampoline, with planets in danger of falling into a pit, is a pictorial metaphor -- a work of art.
...if a spacecraft could warp space to achieve supra-light speeds, ....
This requires a very large IF.
..., what happens to light when it travels through stretched space?
Yes, what does happen? I choose to wait for evidence.
Electromagnetic Force as always been a local player.
When a kitchen magnet can lift iron or steel objects off a table, gravity seems both more local and weaker.
...there's a whole lot of mass we're missing to account for observed phenomena, ....
Euclidean geometry requires a surface, the evidence for which exists only in the imaginations of Euclidean geometers. Dark mass similarly requires imagination.
a whole lot of mass we're missing....
BB cosmology requires this mass. Plasma cosmology requires neither dark mass nor dark energy.
...in the physics community.
The physics community is larger than the astrophysics community and those who labor in it rely on evidence more than on thought alone.
That thought is easily led into unsupported conclusions makes fiction and religion possible, perhaps even inevitable.
That BB cosmology lacks evidence for so many conclusions makes my goddidit metaphor possible.
If astrophysicists were to listen to electrical engineers, they would still have to break their dependence on the money provided by taxpayers.
Susan, the big bang isn't fully understood even by us who go along with that idea. It's just the best hypothesis so far. As for the "god did it" thing, that explains nothing at all and a theist will go with that every time. It's just how they are. How could anyone ever believe that BB theory "requires too many goddidits?" The universe came from something so very small and opens up at an extreme speed like a self expanding camping tent, still expanding to this day. What would that have to do with an invisible man in the sky? Call my idea of it inflation if you will. I'm still not seeing a need for gawd.
No, the BB was like a champagne cork the hit you in the head and made you see stars.
Michael, as I pointed out above to Loren:
1) the "goddidits" of creationists fill gaps with actions of a literal god, and
2) the "goddidits" of BB cosmologists fill gaps with different evidence-free explanations.
Inflation doesn't need a gawd; it needs matter to move faster than light.
Here's one even better. In the world of science when they talk about "nothing" as we know it, there is still something there. At the present time we do not know exactly what that is. Maybe in time we shall. For the theist it's so easy to fill in the gaps with "god did it" but magic is not a part of science.
The biggest thing for us humans to learn is that it's OK to admit that we do not know everything. I doubt that there will ever be a time that we know everything, but desire of discovery should be our constant goal.
...desire of discovery should be our constant goal.
I agree, Michael, but we who are not doing the discovery need not concern ourselves with persuading politicians to appropriate the necessary money.