Many modern scientists believe that the Universe originated from a ‘Cosmic Egg’, by a catastrophic explosion, called ‘big bang’. They rule out its creation by God. On the contrary, many religionists believe that, initially, God created the world. The question is which one of these two hypotheses is more rational? Can anyone of these be sustained based on reason or scientific proof?
Was the Universe created at some point of time or it is eternal?
“How and when did this universe or the world come into existence?”
Most of the major religions also have tried to solve this cosmic riddle in their way. Over the last four or five centuries, astronomers, astrophysicists and geologists also have tried to tackle this question in their typical ways. They have formulated many theories, or better, call them ‘hypotheses’ because these have not yet attained the status of ‘theories’. We will discuss here only the most popular and most fashionable or current theories of origin, to see if these have satisfactorily solved the question.
One of the two most popular theories, mentioned in science books, was first proposed by the Belgian astronomer Georges Edward Lemaitre (1894-1966). In the year 1927, he suggested that, at a point of time in the remote past, there existed only one large lump. At that point of time, call, it ‘zero time’-the Matter and energy of the Universe was squashed or compressed together into one huge mass, according to him, the cosmos was ‘born’ out of this colossal mass. Lemaitre said that this ‘zero time’, when the ‘egg’ exploded, refers to the point of time about two billions of years ago, but, since Geologists considered the Earth to be older than 2 billion years, some cosmologists, later, raised this figure to 5 billion and, subsequently, to 13.8 billion years ago.
Initially, the Matter, which formed the cosmic egg, was hydrogen gas. A hydrogen atom is made of two particles only. There is a central proton, carrying a positive electric charge and an outer electron, carrying a negative charge. As long as these sub-atomic particles exist separately in the atom, there is a limit to which a mass of hydrogen gas can be compressed. But when the critical pressure is surpassed, the electron and proton in every atom of hydrogen gas may be considered to have been squashed very very hard or condensed very densely together to form a mass of electrically uncharged particles, called neutrons. Such a mass of compressed neutrons is also called neutronium’. It would have a density of 1,000,000,000,000,000 grammes per cubic centimetre and would be far denser than any known thing, for this is the ultimate limit in compressing that can be reached and, at this stage, the mass of Matter becomes unstable. Now Lemaitre says that at ‘zero time’, the densest and unstable cosmic egg exploded in what we can now only imagine having been the most gigantic and catastrophic explosion of all time. Sir Arthur Eddington, a famous English scientist, adopted and popularized this hypothesis. Later, Russian-American astrophysicist George Gamow (1904-1968) upheld and propagated it enthusiastically. It was Gamow who gave it the name ‘Big-bang Theory2.
According to this theory, the fragments catastrophic explosion sent hurtlíng out in all directions, and they became the galaxies. Not only did portions of the cosmic egg form the present-day galaxies but, on a more subtle level, the cosmic egg broke up to form various atoms and 102 elements we know today.
Does this ‘theory’ or hypothesis solve the question of origin? From where did the ‘Cosmic Egg’ come into existence? Which ‘hen’ laid this ‘egg? And, whether that ‘hen’ was first or the egg was first? In other words, how did hydrogen or its electrons and protons or neutronium originate?”
To answer this question, scientists take refuge in the concept of Eternity and the law of conservation of mass and energy. They say that the Matter, making up the cosmic egg, was always there because Matter is Eternal and is always conserved; it never gets annihilated. Well, let us take it for granted that Matter, forming the cosmic egg was always there; the crucial question is whether the Matter was there in the form of the cosmic egg? If one says: “Yes, it was always in the form of cosmic-egg”, then one would like to ask: In that case, the cosmic egg should have remained stable in that form for, there was nothing else there to disturb it; why did it suddenly (at zero time’) cease to be stable? What led to its explosion after billions of years of stability? What were the forces, which, initially, had been keeping it stable and what new forces now, suddenly, brought about the explosion? Scientists have no satisfactory answer to these questions on which depends the validity or credibility of this theory. Is the scientists’ answer satisfactory? No doubt, scientists have tried to solve these and such other problems, but without any substance to give it credibility. A much too common answer the scientists give is: “Before the ‘cosmic egg’ came into existence, there was an exceedingly thin gas. This gas had its own vastly diffused gravitational field. Gradually, over billions of years, the gas collected and the mass of the gas grew close together. As the substance of the Universe grew more compact, the gravitational field became more intense until, after many billions of years, the Universe went on contracting at a greater and greater speed. In this process of contraction, it produced higher, and higher temperature as the gas compressed into smaller and volume. This temperature-rise increasingly countered the gravitational contraction and began to slow down the process of contraction. However, the inertia of Matter kept it contracting more and more until it was past the point where the temperature effect had just balanced gravitation. Finally, the Universe contracted to a minimum volume, represented by the cosmic egg At some point, the outward push of the temperature and radiation, finally overcomes the gravitational force, and this builds up into a force that results in the ‘big-bang’. In this view, the cosmic egg becomes a flying object. How was the ‘cosmic egg’ first formed?
In view, Newton’s First Law of Motion which states that- “everything keeps in its state of rest or motion unless there is an external force is applied to it.” The question is: “Since there is nothing else besides the thin gas, what led the gas to collection to draw close? Since the force of gravitation remained the same ‘for billions of years’, how did it increase to contract the gas-substance? According to the First Law, et Conservation of Mass and Energy, the total mass and energy the Universe remain the same; they neither increase nor decrease; so, the question is what additional force or energy outside the gas-mass initially led the gas-particles to draw closer and closer? No scientist, to this day, has solved this riddle.
Moreover, none has ever explicitly stated the actual size of the cosmic egg, or its total mass, or the force of the explosion that rent it into fragments so that its pieces hurtled away and managed to attain ‘the escape velocity’ to form galaxies. Also, the question is: “If the cosmic egg hurtled its segments to form galaxies, wherefrom did the Matter in the space between these galaxies come? Further, the Universe is infinite or of very vast expanse, did the hydrogen gas fill the whole Universe or the thin cloud occupied only a part of it? If it filled a part of it, why did it occupy only that much space that it did, and how did it initially have only that much density or thinness and neither more nor less? If it filled an infinite space, how could, then, it’s so weak gravitational field, especially at its farther parts, lead it to contraction?
Another question is whether the parts of the cosmic egg that hurtled out and formed galaxies will continué receding from each other for ever or their velocity of recession will slowly decline with time and will reach a momentary zero mark? And, then, will the galaxies finally begin to come together again, slowly at first and then more and more rapidly and will, finally, condense to form something like the cosmic egg constituted of hydrogen again? Following the formation of the cosmic egg, will there be another big bang to start over again? in the fashion of the egg giving birth to the hen and the hen laying an egg and the egg again breaking to give birth to another hen, the series extending to infinity.
If the Universe is like an egg and a hen, then, where is the beginning? Where are the irreversible change and the final ending? Will the process continue ceaselessly. Thus, it fails to explain any origin in the actual meaning of the term.