Part 5: According to the dissident Cyclic Universe theory, the Big Bang was not the beginning of time, but the bridge to a past, filled with endlessly repeating cycles of evolution.
Yes, there are doubters of the Big Bang theory, agitators, dissidents, rebels, potential precursors for a new paradigm.
In Endless Universe, Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok, both distinguished theoretical physicists, critique the Big Bang theory and recount the remarkable developments in astronomy, particle physics and superstring theory that form the basis for a groundbreaking alternative: the ‘Cyclic Universe’ theory.
According to this theory, the Big Bang was not the beginning of time, but the bridge to a past filled with endlessly repeating cycles of evolution, each accompanied by the creation of new matter and the formation of new galaxies, stars and planets.
The two theories have a lot in common. They both agree that the universe has been expanding and cooling over the last 14 billion years and they agree on how galaxies and stars are formed. Where they disagree is on what happened beforehand.
The conventional Big Bang Theory says there was no “beforehand.” Space, time and matter all sprang into existence 14 billion years ago in the event called “the Big Bang,” and all the events responsible for structure of the universe seen today occurred within the first instant after the Big Bang.
The Cyclic Theory agrees that there was some violent event 14 billion years ago – we can still call it a “Big Bang” – but this was not the beginning of space and time. The key events causing the creation of matter, radiation, galaxies and stars occurred billions of years before the Bang. Furthermore, there was not just one Bang. The evolution of the universe is cyclic, with big bangs occurring once every trillion or so, each one accompanied by the creation of new matter and radiation that forms new galaxies, stars, planets and presumably life. Ours is only the most recent cycle, according to Steinhardt and Turok.
Thanks to Steinhardt and Turok
All articles of this series can be found in: At Home in the Universe