|A brief background to the big bang|
In 1929 Hubble observed that, regardless of in which direction we look, galaxies are moving away from us at speeds proportional to their distance from us. This observation, coupled with the discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation in 1965 by Penzias and Wilson, has led to the conclusion that the whole universe is expanding. |
Reasoning backwards from this, many physicists and cosmologists have further concluded that the whole universe must have been contained in an infinitely curved, infinitely massive singularity that exploded in a big bang that became the universe as we know it today.
While the two observations of expansion and cosmic background microwave radiation do strongly support the paradigm of the big bang, they would also be what was observed if the whole universe that is visible to us now was just the result of a very large super nova that took place in one tiny corner of a very much larger universe than what ours is usually thought to be.
Again, even if we assume that the universe that we can see is all there is, if space was continually being created the universe would still be observed to be expanding. Also, according to Hoyle, there may be other mechanisms for the production of the cosmic background microwave radiation than it being a remnant of the big bang.
So, while the expansion and the cosmic microwave background radiation observations certainly support the big bang paradigm, the big bang paradigm is not the only conclusion that can be draw from these observations.
Well, if there was no big bang, how did the universe start? Surely saying that our universe is just the result of an extra large super nova in a much bigger universe just pushes its beginning back to another time. Not necessarily. While the idea of our universe as a very large super nova is not inconsistent with the universe as a process, the idea of the super nova is also not necessary to explain the observations of expansion and cosmic microwave background radiation.
All of the observations can be explained by a universe that is in a process of constantly coming into existence from nothing.
In other words, there was no necessity for a beginning to the universe because it is now and always has been a continual process of becoming.
So there was no need for a big bang.