There have been many theories concerning what the universe looks like, how it became this way, and where it is going. The most popular theory that people hold today is that the universe began when all the matter ever present in the universe was contained in a tiny speck and that spec exploded. This is known as the Big Bang. This theory has developed a great deal since it was first conceptualized and continues to evolve today. Many different scientists have had a hand in this.
Throughout time people have held different ideas of what the universe looks like, from the Aristotelian universe centered around the Earth to the Copernican universe with our Sun at the center. After Sir Isaac Newton invented physics, natural philosophers started to think that perhaps at one time there were no planets or stars but a cloud of matter. Then the gravity that is inherent to matter, which is what Newton explained, pulled the matter together into clumps and that is how the stars and planets formed.
There has also been the question of how old the universe is. Until the theory of the Big Bang the most widely held belief was that which the Catholic church taught, that is that the world was created on October 23 at 9 o’clock in the morning 4004BCE. This is the date that Newton himself would have been taught. This was obtained by Archbishop James Ussher going through the Bible and recounting the generations of people born from Adam and Eve all the way up to Jesus. Scientists before the publication of Newton’s Principia did not argue this number, simply because they had no way of testing and refuting it. (Gribbin, 11)
After Newton’s work, the scientific community finally had a place to start. Newton himself stated that a ...
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...tant because it gives us a good scientific basis for the beginning of the universe and a tool to use to see how it will progress. The big bang may not give a beginning as precise as 9 o’clock October 23 4004 BCE, but we truly do believe that it is a great deal more accurate.
- Gribbin, John. The Birth of Time. Yale University Press. New Haven. 1999. pp.221
- Goldsmith, Donald. The Runaway Universe. Perseus Books. Cambridge, Massachusetts.
2000. pp. 222
- Parker, Barry. The Vindication of the Bid Bang. Plenum Press. New York. 1993. pp. 339
- Trefil, James S. The Moment of Creation, Charles Scribner’s Sons. New York. 1983. pp.
- Schaefer Dr. Henry "Fritz" III. "The Real Issue, Stephen Hawking, The Big Bang, and
God". 1994. Online. n. page Apr 20 2001. Available
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