Big Bang

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According to the Big Bang model, the Universe expanded from an extremely dense and hot state and continues to expand today. A common analogy explains that space itself is expanding, carrying galaxies with it, like spots on an inflating balloon. The graphic scheme above is an artist's concept illustrating the expansion of a portion of a flat universe.

The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model that explains the early development of the Universe. According to the Big Bang theory, the Universe was once in an extremely hot and dense state which expanded rapidly. This rapid expansion caused the young Universe to cool and resulted in its present continuously expanding state.

According to the most recent measurements and observations, this original state existed approximately 13.7 billion years ago, which is considered the age of the Universe and the time the Big Bang occurred. After its initial expansion from a singularity, the Universe cooled sufficiently to allow energy to be converted into various subatomic particles.


Quotes arranged in chronological order


  • These theories were based on the hypothesis that all the matter in the universe was created in one big bang at a particular time in the remote past.
  • The main efforts of investigators have been in papering over contradictions in the big bang theory, to build up an idea which has become ever more complex and cumbersome.
  • I have little hesitation in saying that as a result a sickly pall now hangs over the big bang theory. As I have mentioned earlier, when a pattern of facts becomes set against a theory, experience shows that it rarely recovers.


  • Bothers science because it clashes with scientific religion—the religion of cause and effect, the belief that every effect has a cause. Now we find that the biggest effect of all, the birth of the universe, violates this article of faith. . . . what came before the Big Bang is the most interesting question of all.
    • The director of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in 1979.[citation needed]


  • To admit such possibilities seems senseless to me.
  • This circumstance of an expanding universe is irritating.
    • Albert Einstein, quoted in the article Does God Really Exist?, in The Watchtower magazine, published by Jehovah's Witnesses, february 15, 1981.
  • Theologians are delighted that the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of Genesis—but curiously, astronomers are upset.
    • Robert Jastrow, quoted in the article Does God Really Exist?, in The Watchtower magazine, published by Jehovah's Witnesses, february 15, 1981.


  • The first, and main, problem is the very existence of the big bang.
    • Andrei Linde, quoted in the article The Awesome Universe; What the Big Bang Explains—What It Doesn’t, in the Awake! magazine, January 22, 1996.
  • One may wonder, What came before? If space-time did not exist then, how could everything appear from nothing? . . . Explaining this initial singularity—where and when it all began—still remains the most intractable problem of modern cosmology.
    • Andrei Linde, quoted in the article The Awesome Universe; What the Big Bang Explains—What It Doesn’t, in the Awake! magazine, January 22, 1996.
  • [Big Bang theory] suggested that matter and motion originated rather as Genesis [in the Bible] suggests, ex nihilo, out of nothing, in a stupendous explosion of light and energy.
    • Newsweek magazine of November 9, 1998.
  • The forces loosed were—are—remarkably (miraculously?) balanced: If the Big Bang had been slightly less violent, the expansion of the universe would have been less rapid, and would soon (in a few million years, or a few minutes—in any case, soon) have collapsed back on itself. If the explosion had been slightly more violent, the universe might have dispersed into a soup too thin to aggregate into stars. The odds against us were—this is just the right word—astronomical. The ratio of matter and energy to the volume of space at the Big Bang must have been within about one quadrillionth of 1 percent of ideal.
    • Newsweek magazine of November 9, 1998.
  • Take but degree away (see above, the one quadrillionth of 1 percent margin for error), . . . and what follows is not just discord but eternal entropy and ice. So, what—who?—was the great Tuner?
    • Newsweek magazine of November 9, 1998.
  • The big bang theory does not describe the birth of the universe … Another theory describing even earlier times will be needed to explain the original creation of the universe.
  • Many scientists did not like the idea that the universe had a beginning, a moment of creation magazine, June 22, 1999.
    • Stephen Hawking, quoted in the article Did It Really Have a Beginning?, in the Awake! magazine, June 22, 1999.
  • It is true that physicists hope to look behind the ‘big bang,’ and possibly to explain the origin of our universe as, for example, a type of fluctuation. But then, of what is it a fluctuation and how did this in turn begin to exist? In my view, the question of origin seems always left unanswered if we explore from a scientific view alone.
    • Charles H. Townes, quoted in the article Did It Just Happen, or Was It Created? in the Awake! magazine, June 22, 1999.


  • The big bang and the steady state debate in some ways echoed that between the ideas of Anaximander and Anaxagoras from two and a half millennia earlier. Anaxagoras had envisaged that at one time "all things were together" and that the motive force for the universe originated at a single point... Anaximander on the other hand wanted a universe determined by "the infinite" and needed an "eternal motion" to explain the balancing process of things coming into being and passing away in an eternal universe... ancient philosophy was debating the alternatives of a creation event starting the universe from a single point versus a continuous creation in an eternal universe.
    • David H. Clark & Matthew D. H. Clark, in Measuring the Cosmos: How Scientist Discovered the Dimensions of the Universe (2004).
  • There are some questions that scientists can never answer, “It may be that the Big Bang happened 12 billion years ago. But why did it happen? . . . How did the particles get there in the first place? What was there before?” Utley concludes: “It seems . . . clearer than ever that science will never satisfy the human hunger for answers.”
    • Tom Utley quoted in the article How Did the Universe and Life Originate?, in the Awake! magazine, June 8, 2002.

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