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One Big Bang, Or Many? 492

Posted by Zonk
from the boggles-the-mind dept.
butterwise writes "From the Guardian Unlimited: 'The universe is at least 986 billion years older than physicists thought and is probably much older still, according to a radical new theory. The revolutionary study suggests that time did not begin with the big bang 14 billion years ago. This mammoth explosion which created all the matter we see around us, was just the most recent of many.'"
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One Big Bang, Or Many?

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  • Created the universe in one giant gang bang

    ** I hope I don't get smited for that
  • Whew! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Kelson (129150) * on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:44PM (#15272103) Homepage Journal
    "All we can say is [the next big bang] won't be within the next 10 billion years." Good job, because if we were around we would instantly disintegrate into massless particles of light.

    And you know how quickly that kind of thing can ruin your day!

    • Funny you should mention it, that would be my favourite way to die: completely unexpectedly, instantaneously, with no perception, and hence no pain or mental trauma.

      Hopefully by the time I'm an old git dying of ${GRIM_PAINFUL_DISEASE} there will be legal euthanasia.

  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:45PM (#15272108)

    From TFA (emphasis mine):
    The standard big bang theory says the universe began with a massive explosion, but the new theory suggests it is a cyclic event that consists of repeating big bangs and big crunches - where every particle of matter collapses together.
    And also from TFA (again, emphasis mine):
    With each bang, the theory predicts that matter keeps on expanding and dissipating into infinite space before another horrendous blast of radiation and matter replenishes it.

    Now, I'm no cosmologist, but these two descriptions of the theory seem to be in conflict...does the matter in the universe come together in the Big Crunch, or does it fly off into space forever, replenished by subsequent Big Bang events?

    If the Guardian Unlimited doesn't even know what the theory is proposing, why are they reporting it?

    Fortunately, we needn't depend upon Guardian Unlimited for our cosmology news...Nature.com happens to have a much more informative article [nature.com] on the subject. What's especially amusing is that they've had this article since April 26th of 2002.
    • I wondered the same thing. My question though, is if the universe expands infinitely, periodically replenished by another Big Bang, where does the matter/energy come from that creates the next Big Bang? If it were cyclic, and came into a Big Crunch, its somewhat understandable, though we still have to wonder about the conservation of energy that currently seems unexplained.
      • Better question... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by harrkev (623093) <kfmsdNO@SPAMharrelsonfamily.org> on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:58PM (#15272253) Homepage
        And a better question. The universe is isotropic, which means that it looks the same everywhere (or so I am told). Thus there is no "center." Imagine the surface of the Earth. Where is the center of the surface (no digging allowed). There IS none.

        Well, if this property holds true for the universe, and eventually our universe will expand a whole lot and lead to a new bang, exactly where in the known universe will this bang occur?

        Or, perhaps there IS a center to the universe. If this is true, what would this do for relativity, which states that ALL frames of reference are valid? If you could just fly in a rocket and see a bit red cement pole with "center of universe" painted on it, that would make a dandy absolute reference point.
        • by misleb (129952)
          Well, if this property holds true for the universe, and eventually our universe will expand a whole lot and lead to a new bang, exactly where in the known universe will this bang occur?

          Everywhere.

          -matthew
        • by internic (453511) on Friday May 05, 2006 @04:33PM (#15273163)

          I'm also curious about where these new "big bangs" occur, since the big bang in normal cosmology (i.e. the Friedman-Robertson-Walker based on General Relativity) happens everywhere, not in one particular place. It's not clear that that is the picture in this new theory. This actually sounds less like F-R-W cosmology and more like a steady state model that Fred Hoyle was pushing a while back.

          On to the point about providing an absolute reference frame, that might not be such a big issue. The difference here is between what's called weak lorentz symmetry breaking and strong lorentz symmetry breaking (if I'm not mistaken). Relativity says the laws of physics are the same in all frames, but it could be that one frame ends up being easily recognized, even though it doesn't have special laws (this is the weak sort of symmetry breaking). In fact, we already have this because of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR). The CMBR defines the average rest frame of the observable Universe. On Earth, the CMBR looks blue shifted in one direction and redshifted in the opposite direction, because we're moving with respect to the CMBR rest frame. So, you could argue that if you get in your spaceship and turn on the thrusters until this redshift effect goes away, you'll really be "at rest" (that is, you'll be at rest in the average rest frame of matter in the universe). So there is a sort of sign post (for a particular velocity, not a particular position), but the laws of physics aren't any different in that frame, so this doesn't break relativity.

      • The big bang may not be as it seems. Sting Theory [wikipedia.org] or M-Theory [wikipedia.org] postulates that matter arrives by collisions of dimensions in other Universes. This is theory believes this is why gravity is so much weaker than the other forces. Extentions of these theories beleive, that matter entering this universe is traveling faster then light; the mater has to shed mass due to E=mc^2 stuff.
      • where does the matter/energy come from that creates the next Big Bang?

        Obviously, after it reaches the edge of the universe, it creeps back along the bottom to start from the center again.
    • Well, the difference in explanations is obvious. In the first case (big bang, big crunch, rinse and repeat) they are referring to the standard big bang theory. The new theory (as far as TFA says) doesn't involve a crunch, just another big bang after the current matter in the universe dissipates.

      How that part works out would be an interesting read. One aspect of the duality that binds the various aspects of M-Theory is that for certain branches of the theory, what is true at one geometric scale n is true
      • Except that Big Bang Theory neither requires nor expects a crunch. In fact, most modern cosmologists think that we live in an open universe, meaning that we will eventually suffer heat death. There's a lot of literature on this, but I highly recommend Guth's The Inflationary Universe [amazon.com] for a layman physics treatment. The book is quite interesting, has little math and lots of references if you want to go look up where he's coming from. To say that Guth is an expert on cosmology [wikipedia.org] would be a gross understatment.

        H
    • Well, brane theory (a.k.a. string theory) is kind of funky. It posits that there are parallel universes (branes) that are tied to each other in different dimensions. There was an explosion that forced the branes apart, although they are still tied together through another dimension. As the branes (universes) spread themselves out, the force connecting them get weaker. Each brane starts to die entropically. (All the higher energy states have been taken and only chaos can exist; no ordered states are possible). At some point, the force from the initial explosion is not enough to overcome the "force" exerted by the bridging dimension to keep the branes apart. The branes then collide with each other again. There is another big bang caused by this collision.

      Dimensions are weird things. Imagine a two-dimensional plane that goes on infinitely. For a finite, two-dimensional being on that plane, there can only be two-dimensions. As far as he can see, his Universe is the only one. But there can be a million other dimensions stacked onto his in the third dimension. He is just one page on the book, but he cannot observe that third plane. Brane theory observes that just because X dimensions exist, that does not mean we experience all of them.

      Think about time as the fourth dimension. Basically, a n-dimension allows you to add an infinite amount of things on the same place in a (n-1)-dimension world. In a two-dimensional world, you can stack many lines onto each other in the second dimension along the plane. A two-dimension sheet can be stacked infinitely in the third-dimension, so many objects can share the same two-dimensional space along the third-dimension. Many objects can exist at the same three-dimension coordinates but at different times.

      What if there are more than one time-dimensions? Or more than three-spatial dimensions? Is there any postulate that says we can observe them all if they exist? That's kind of the battle because there can be no direct "proof" of any other dimensions, if they exist. Yet the other dimensions can still affect our dimension. That's why cosmology seems to be so made: because it is.
    • Personally, I think they are wrong. I have read all of their latest papers and can't say I'm convinced nor am I convinced that the universe was created in a Big Bang. It was more of a Big Fizzle where not all the uninitiated material were exploding, but rather it behaved like a nuclear bomb that fizzles. All of what we think of as dark matter is in reality uninitiated matter leftover from the Big Fizzle. Watch out for a more scientific theory in a couple of years.
  • by Stranger4U (153613) on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:46PM (#15272113)
    "...at least 986 billion years older ..."

    I always found it amusing when people take scientific estimates at face value. The article says something along the lines of "the universe could be up to a trillion years old," so, obviously, the universe is precisely 1 trillion years old.
    • by Frequency Domain (601421) on Friday May 05, 2006 @03:13PM (#15272368)
      Reminds me of the story about the museum curator who was leaning on the second floor railing looking down at the T-Rex display, one of his personal favorites. A small family group were in front of the display, looking up in awe, and the kid asked his parents how old it was. The janitor, who had been listening nearby, sauntered over and said "I happen to know that that there skeleton is sixty five million and thirteen years old." The curator cracked up as the janitor continued, "Yup, I been workin' here thirteen years now and the curator himself told me on the day I started that it was sixty five million years old."
    • Your mama's so old, she heard the first big bang and said "Turn the TV down!"
  • ...or even news? The Big Crunch theory [wikipedia.org] has been around for a long time.
  • I can leapfrog the next 7 years of angst I was planning for this event.
  • by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:47PM (#15272129)
    I've read similar things, where the cosmological constant changes over time, first expanding and then contracting the universe. In some ways it's more satisfying than having the universe as a one-shot deal that ends in cold nothingness.

    It did trigger the beginnings of an idea for a science fiction novel. What if the current state of the universe was the result of tinkering from the previous big bang cycle? If you end up with constants that make life more difficult, blame those that came before. Sort of like global warming on a multi-universal scale.
    • At the risk of being a bit of a spoiler about the Heechee saga, it contains an alien race of energy beings that dominated during the beginning of the universe, before the universe became matter-dominated. They're manipulating the crunch of this universe and waiting for the crunch to create a universe on the next iteration that will be more conducive to their kind of existence.
    • I'm sorry to tell you your scifi book has already been written by at least a two different authors I can think of.
    • Lacking any sort of empirical data behind this one, so take it with a grain of salt...

      In our experience with the universe, are there many things that happen only once? Sure, there are variations, but things that are utterly unique? Nearly everything is the outcome of obvious interactions with physical laws. We see the contant refections of math in the world, we see stars forming, and stars failing, planets being born, planets disintigrating. Things grow, things die.

      But the universe has a beginning and an en
  • by masterpenguin (878744) on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:47PM (#15272134)
    I'm not very surprised that scientists are describing the universe as much older than previously thought. One of the fundimental problems of the big bang theroy was when incorperating the size of the universe it would have ment that it expanded much faster than the speed of light. (or at least this is my understanding of the big bang theory)
    • That isn't a problem with the theory, though. Nor is that point addressed with this new theory, as far as I can see. The only question is "How large the universe compared with how long it's been since the last Big Bang?" You still need inflation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_inflation) to make the universe get to the correct size.
    • Actually, this wouldn't make a difference. The idea stated here is that the universe has either (a) expanded and contracted many times or (b) expanded to nothingness and been replenished by a new big bang many times. (The article isn't clear on which.)

      While this suggests the existence of a pre-Big-Bang universe, it does not suggest that the latest Big Bang took place any earlier than current estimates used for hte single-Big Bang theory.

      So if there are problems with the speed of expansion post-Big Bang, t
  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Moby Cock (771358) on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:48PM (#15272146) Homepage
    So...This is all just deja vu all over again?
  • by mapkinase (958129) on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:50PM (#15272161) Homepage Journal
    Fascinating? Yes.
    Mind-boggling? Yes.
    Good story to impress your wife or kids? Yes.

    Scientific? No.
  • very old news (Score:3, Interesting)

    by denisbergeron (197036) <`DenisBergeron' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:50PM (#15272162)
    very old universe ! :-)
    Any way you can find in a lot of places informations about a lot of Galaxies that have been classified older than the big bang (15 billons years) !
    The french magazine "Science et Vie" have some goods articles on the subject this mounth release.
  • Unfortunately, even Single Big Bang might not apply to the worst cases, where the best-fit theory is probably Eternal Stasis. :-)
  • Never know! (Score:5, Funny)

    by git68 (957160) on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:52PM (#15272182)
    Vista might be released before the next big bang.
  • Hindu Cosmology (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GillBates0 (664202) on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:53PM (#15272195) Homepage Journal
    Strange how this coincides with the theory of "Cosmic cycles" in Hinduism and other Vedic religions [wikipedia.org] like Buddhism [ttp]

    In short, Hindu scriptures accept the Big Bang (and for that matter Evolution), but believe that it is cyclical in nature. Destruction follows creation, to be followed by creation again. Similarly, "devolution" follows evolution, in a cycle to be repeated endlessly.

    While there are many links to back this up, here's the most relevant one I found on Hindu Cosmology [atributetohinduism.com] (I'm not affiliated to it in any way, just happened to be one of the first sites that came up on a Google search). Among other prominent people, it also carries this quote from Carl Sagan [wikipedia.org]'s description of Hindu cosmology in his book Cosmos. To quote:

    The late scientist, Carl Sagan, in his book, Cosmos asserts that the Dance of Nataraja (Tandava) signifies the cycle of evolution and destruction of the cosmic universe (Big Bang Theory).

    "It is the clearest image of the activity of God which any art or religion can boast of." Modern physics has shown that the rhythm of creation and destruction is not only manifest in the turn of the seasons and in the birth and death of all living creatures, but also the very essence of inorganic matter.

    For modern physicists, then, Shiva's dance is the dance of subatomic matter. Hundreds of years ago, Indian artist created visual images of dancing Shiva's in a beautiful series of bronzes. Today, physicist have used the most advanced technology to portray the pattern of the cosmic dance. Thus, the metaphor of the cosmic dance unifies, ancient religious art and modern physics. The Hindus, according to Monier-Williams, were Spinozists more than 2,000 years before the advent of Spinoza, and Darwinians many centuries before Darwin and Evolutionists many centuries before the doctrine of Evolution was accepted by scientists of the present age.

    "The Hindu religion is the only one of the world's great faiths dedicated to the idea that the Cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed an infinite, number of deaths and rebirths. It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond, to those of modern scientific cosmology. Its cycles run from our ordinary day and night to a day and night of Brahma, 8.64 billion years long. Longer than the age of the Earth or the Sun and about half the time since the Big Bang. And there are much longer time scales still."

    "The most elegant and sublime of these is a representation of the creation of the universe at the beginning of each cosmic cycle, a motif known as the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva. The god, called in this manifestation Nataraja, the Dance King. In the upper right hand is a drum whose sound is the sound of creation. In the upper left hand is a tongue of flame, a reminder that the universe, now newly created, with billions of years from now will be utterly destroyed."

    • Re:Hindu Cosmology (Score:4, Insightful)

      by KefabiMe (730997) <garth@NospAm.jhonor.com> on Friday May 05, 2006 @03:05PM (#15272302) Journal

      Strange how this coincides with the theory of "Cosmic cycles" in Hinduism and other Vedic religions like Buddhism

      It's not strange at all. With many different religions and each religion having many different sects, how scientists describe how our universe works will seem similar to some religion somewhere.

      If you think about it, religion is one way for people to describe what is happening in the world around them.

      Personally, I say keep your faith and your science seperate.

      • Personally, I say keep your faith and your science seperate.

        Except that faith has to be based on reality, otherwise it would be intellectually dishonest.

        From my own point of view as a Christian, if something that the Bible appeared to hold as true flatly contradicted what I knew to be true from my own experience then I would have to seriously re-examine either my understanding of the Bible, or my understanding of my experience. If the two are in contradiction, then one is wrong.
    • Q: Are we not men?
      A: We are Devo!
  • There's always that possibility.
  • Very Old theory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by paladinwannabe2 (889776) on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:54PM (#15272207)
    Scientists and Philosophers have been waving this theory around for at least 30 years. The problem in the past has always been that even though they really, really wanted this theory to be true, they didn't have any good evidence for it. As far as I can tell from TFA, that is still the case.
    • The way Hawkings thinks about this (at least what I remember/understand from one of his books) is that it doesn't really matter. This article seems to be placing the beginning of time before the big bang and each bang/crush cycle just gets tacked on to the previous timeline. According to hawkings, time had to begin with the big bang. The compressed ball of matter had such a gravitational pull that time and space were bent and broke and stopped and no information could escape. Even if the cycle had happened
      • Okay, so what's up with the "Time started here." thing? If there was an infinity of time before this event happened, then obviously time was already around. Wouldn't it really mean "Nothing of any significance could happen because all the matter in this universe was stuck in one little ball for a long long time, THEN once things started moving we call it 'Time'"? Really if there was no time before the bang, then what do you call that moment just before it happened? In other words, if there was no time,
      • Thats when time for anyone in this universe began and bang/crunch cycles are irrelevant, there may as well have been nothing before the bang.

        Everybody except of course Durandal [bungie.org]...

    • Re:Very Old theory (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SetupWeasel (54062)
      Right now, astronomers have some serious blinders on literally and figuratively. There are very few places in the sky where we can actually see objects that are far enough away to have cosmological significance. Even then, we can only see that far and not further. Modern cosmology is based on a limited view of the universe.

      Now we are finding some crazy shit. Stuff doesn't move the way it is supposed to. The crazy double super secret invisible "cosmological constant" and "dark matter" sound more to me like m
  • by packeteer (566398) <packeteerNO@SPAMsubdimension.com> on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:55PM (#15272216)
    It sounds to me like someone guessed the number 1 trillion (1,000 billion) as the age of the universe and now its being quoted as fact. You cant say the universe is 986 billion years older then previously thought becuase it makes people think your using an exact science becuase you are using exact numbers. This is sensationalist science at its worst.

    Whether or not the theory will hold up in the future nobody knows but as for right now everyone needs to remember this is a theory like any and decieving people into thinking its otherwise is unfair.
  • by dorbabil (969458) on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:55PM (#15272218)
    Sorry to be off-topic, but articles like this throw around the word theory like every new hypothesis that's met with even a shred of success deserves to be called a theory. It's no wonder that so many people out there fail to realise that "It's just a theory, there's no proof" is a complete contradiction. I'm favoring, more and more, a redefinition of the terms used in biological science to match those in the physical sciences. Start calling hypotheses theories, and drop the whole "Theory" label from the theory of evolution. Teach it as a combination of evidence-driven research, and base principles (Natural Selection becomes "Darwin's Laws", Mendellian Inheritence becomes "Mendel's Laws", and so forth). Getting rid of the vague "theory" description will make it much easier to convey which parts of the modern theory of evolution should be considered fact, and which parts are still active areas of research.
    • Natural Selection becomes "Darwin's Laws", Mendellian Inheritence becomes "Mendel's Laws", and so forth.

      I think calling scientific theories 'laws' is a big mistake. After all, it is not as if the earth goes round the sun because it obeys Newton's law of gravitation. But the way you hear people speaking sometimes you would be forgiven for thinking so.

      There is a huge difference between 'law' in a prescriptive sense (which is how it is used most of the time) and 'law' in a descriptive sense (which is how scien
    • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Friday May 05, 2006 @04:17PM (#15273007)
      "It's just a theory, there's no proof" is a complete contradiction

      You mean "tautology." If it's a scientific theory then by definition it cannot be proved, only disproved.

      From the article it's hard to say whether this is a theory, a modification to an existing theory, or a hypothesis.

      A theory isn't just an accepted hypothesis, it's a descriptive edifice that lets you make predictions. Those predictions are hypotheses.
  • Assuming that:

    1)The universe is cyclical in which all matter collapses to a single point and the big bang repeats an infinite number of times.

    2)That when we die we have no perception of time.

    Then:

    Would it not stand to reason that we would experience everything in the universe moving from one existence to the next with no delay in the relative sense?
  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Friday May 05, 2006 @03:06PM (#15272317)
    ...the Duke Nuke'em release cycle!

    I'm flabbergasted!

  • Metaphysics (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PineHall (206441) on Friday May 05, 2006 @03:08PM (#15272327)
    Unfortunately, (as we currently understand things) we can not discover what existed before the big bang. This theory is only philosphical convecture that is not falsifiable.
    • This depends on what variation of this theory you subscribe to. If matter is allowed to escape the "big crunch" before the next "big bang", the universe would contain information about the previous cycle (or even earlier).
  • Honestly, I've always thought basing everything on the assumption of some sort of start to time was foolish. This theory is the one that scientists have floated a couple of times before called Oscillating Universe.

    I personally think both theories are far too limited in scope to describe the universe, but with only a BS in Astronomy, who among you would listen to my babblings?
  • From TFA: With each bang, the theory predicts that matter keeps on expanding and dissipating into infinite space before another horrendous blast of radiation and matter replenishes it.

    Shades of Babylon 5 there. From one of the Season 4 episodes, Into the Fire (I couldn't find the exact quotes online from work, this is my idea of what happened):

    And at the end of the war, all of the remaining First Ones went Beyond the Rim, and were never heard from again.
  • can magically relocate to Maryland, all natural laws are suspect, and the so-called "constants", including the cosmological constant, aren't.

    In other, related news, the big bang was not unique and the universe is at least a trillion years old. If you think Katrina was too much for FEMA, wait until the next big bang!
    • The relocation of the entire Tufts campus is just one of those college pranks pulled off by UMD or perhaps Johns Hopkins engineering students. The MIT kids have their work cut out to top that!
  • by The G (7787)
    This was all caused by Galactus [marveldirectory.com], right? I think I read that somewhere...
  • by JohnnyDanger (680986) on Friday May 05, 2006 @03:23PM (#15272463)
    The Guardian summary is very poor and mostly misses the point of the new work.

    The cyclic model has been around for several years, and there is plenty I don't understand about it, but it is distinct from the old big bang-big crunch ideas. The "cycle" is the repeated collision between two sub-universes, called branes. We live in one of these sub-universes. Each collision resets our sub-universe with a new big bang... Our universe is constantly expanding; there is no crunch.

    Importantly, the cyclic theory has detectable differences from the standard big bang scenario. For example, primordial gravity waves, detectable through their influence on the polarization of the cosmic microwave background, are present in the standard big bang scenario and absent here. Thus their possible detection by a future microwave experiment could rule out this theory.

    The purpose of this new work is to argue that the cosmological constant (the factor which make the expansion of the universe accelerate) is naturally small and positive in the cyclic model. This is as we observe it. The standard big bang theory does not make a prediction for the size of the cosmological constant (it's just a parameter), while in string theories the expected size of the constant is vastly larger.

    Steinhardt has many materials (including a cartoon movie of the brane collision) on his homepage [princeton.edu].

  • Unless there is a way to test this theory, it's just yet-another-untestable-hypothesis, and belongs to the realm of philosophy and religion more than hard science.

    Let me know when they've got a good way to prove or disprove the hypothesis.

    After all, I can say the universe was created "in progress" 30 seconds ago, and you can neither prove nor disprove it. It's an untestable theory. Even if I am right, it's scientifically useless to take such a theory seriously as a scientific theory.
  • The article is none too clear, but it seems that the major claims of this new theory are that the Cosmological Constant:

    a) Might diminish over time, and

    b) Might be able to survive a Big Crunch/Bang cycle, and

    c) Seems to be smaller than it "should" be if the universe was created 14 billion years ago.

    From these, they propose that:

    d) The universe is actually much older and has gone through many Big Crunch/Bang cycles, allowing enough time for the CC to shrink to its current level.

    However, I'd like to see some hard evidence for a), b), and c) before I accept that d) might be true.
  • by shma (863063)
    Now, I know we all enjoy reading reporters vain attempts to understand complex scientific theories, and we all have a good laugh when they say things like "The universe is at least 986 billion years older than physicists thought..." when it's clear that they just took a rough estimate of 1 trillion and subtracted the accepted value of 14 billion, but can we please have useful links now and then? I mean it's not like there isn't a website that has every damn phyisics paper written since 1994 [arxiv.org] . If you can't
  • by prmths (325452)
    being the optimist I am, wouldnt that mean there could be countless hyper-intelligent beings that night somehow be able to escape a big crunch? wouldnt that be novel? ;)
  • by xmorg (718633)
    "at least", "thought", "probably" "radical new theory", "study suggests", "cosmologists believe", - such verbage is used on the art bell show to proove the existance of aliens.

    I dont see any fossil records, star charts, photos etc, to proove this. Is this just a bunch of nerds sitting around contemplating the cosmos?
  • Actual Article (Score:4, Informative)

    by Stalyn (662) on Friday May 05, 2006 @03:45PM (#15272704) Homepage Journal
    linkage [sciencemag.org]
  • finally (Score:3, Funny)

    by Khashishi (775369) on Friday May 05, 2006 @06:39PM (#15274004) Journal
    Finally, a scientific explanation for dupes!
  • Good work, Dad :) (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vandan (151516) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @08:34AM (#15276389) Homepage
    My Dad's had a theory along these lines ( very similar, actually ) for years. He wrote a letter on the topic to the university where Stephen Hawking hangs out ( can't remember which one it is now ), and they gave him a lifetime subscription to a science journal they produce. Cool :)

    If scientists can have a theory where everything explodes, contracts & explodes, then why not little parts of the universe doing the same thing.

    Of course this doesn't exactly satisfy our curiosity - there are still questions of where matter & energy came from, if there was a beginning of time, etc, but somehow I don't think these are ever going to be explained in a way that people can digest in an ordinary state of consciousness. The ultimate nature of the universe is far more bizarre than we could possibly imagine.

    But anyway, this theory of multiple big bangs & contractions makes perfect sense to me.

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