It is Finite and no one knows why

Theories, by their semantic nature, are explanations which are supported by observable facts, but lack an admitted, absolute certainty. This is the strength of any theory, its honesty, and also its inherent, attackable weakness, which allows opposing views, whether those views are supported by facts or just shed a bright light on the aspect of uncertainty. Currently, the origin of our universe is popularly believed to be accurate as described by the “Big Bang Theory,” a term that was popularized by Sir Fred Hoyle when he was being derogatory about its validity in 1950. Ironically, while Hoyle would never recant his opposition, his own work describing stellar processes that created complex elements would give this theory more support.

-Overthrowing Newtonian physics

At the beginning of the 20th century, physics experiments and theory were running into an inexplicable wall. While it was established that the sun was hydrogen, no one knew what made it burn without oxygen and while the orbit of Mercury was consistent with Newton’s laws, it had an eccentricity that could not be mathematically explained. An obscure patent clerk named Albert Einstein solved both riddles by answering his own question, “What would happen if I rode on a light beam?” The mathematical answer was E=mc2, a simple, elegant explanation that also opened some other disturbing doors.

Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, supported by astronomical observations during an eclipse, also indicated that the universe was expanding or contracting and that it was possible for a mass to be so large that not even light could reach escape velocity. Other physicists would convincingly prove the process of nuclear fusion in the core or every star including our sun and a dedicated astronomer, Edwin Hubble would provide empirical proof not only of other galaxies, but that they were moving away from each other.

-Splintering specialties

Shortly after Einstein reached international prominence, science began splintering into ever more specialist groups. Chemists, cosmologists, quantum physicists and classical physicists are currently some of the major scientific groups. They tend to reach a point of common interest, if not always a point of agreement, when it comes to the origin of the universe which, thanks to Hubble and Einstein, the early universe can be theorized by winding the clock backwards using mathematics. With light as a constant in terms of speed, the apparent expansion as the current observable state, then a point of origin can be extrapolated by known facts.

An excellent, understandable presentation is available in Stephen Hawking’s book, “A Brief History of Time.” Hawking lays out the known points of origin for three of the four forces (electromagnetic, strong nuclear, weak nuclear) and the explanation of Hoyle’s theoretical work on stellar fusion and the creation of heavy elements up to uranium. Even to a non-physicist with a modest mathematical grounding, the evidence is overwhelmingly convincing that from a small, undefinable speck, everything people know and are, began there.

-Unanswered questions

There’s a human predilection for simple answers, but will take a simplistic answer as a workable solution when simple is unavailable. There are no answers, so far, that account for gravity or explain why a singularity may inexplicably expand, creating space as it goes and coalescing into matter. Because there is this uncertainty, traditional theology attempts to leap into the gap and discount the other provable factors by inserting an “intelligent design” principle. Those who like a simplistic global explanation will listen raptly.

Those with more patience will work or wait for a more conclusive explanation. Meanwhile, the universe keeps expanding…and it appears to be accelerating.