Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Second Comment on the Big Bang Theory Appering in the New York Times Online

The “Big Bang” theory and its associated estimate of the age of the universe are not empirical facts of any kind but strictly inferences from propositions that are themselves questionable. Namely, an estimate of the size of the universe and the claim that the universe is expanding and is so at some definite rate. Given a definite size and rate of expansion of the universe, it follows mathematically that at some point, allegedly 13.8 billion years ago, the universe was disappearingly small.

The analogy of a financial “Big Bang” may be useful. Thus, for example, a hypothetical present-day fortune of a trillion dollars might be traced back to the “Big Bang” of the investment of a single penny 339 years ago that has earned a 10 percent compound rate of interest ever since. For 0.01*1.1^339 equals a little more than a trillion dollars. The fortune could be declared to be 339 years old.
In fact, of course, no one has an actual fortune of a trillion dollars, and a uniform rate of compound interest or any rate of interest has never been earned on the same fortune probably even for as long as a single century. So the mathematics does not tell us anything about actual reality here.
So it is with the Big Bang theory. It is an exercise in mathematics. But more than that, it claims the equivalent of $1 trillion being physically stuffed into the space of a single penny. No. It claims the whole physical universe being stuffed into the space of single penny.
This comment appears in TheTimes at