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From the little I understand of the big bang It states that the universe was in a very high density state and then expanded.

This is commonly used as a proof that the world had a beginning and thus torah tradition and science are not at odds. Dr. Gerald Schroeder wrote a book claiming this very position.

However, I was just thinking that the theory itself claims that there was a pre-existing kernel of mass that exploded and expanded. Thus, it was not a creation out of nothing. Also that there was a "space" for it to expand into. Again, another previously extent object or matter.

Why is this a proof? Am I wrong I my understanding of the theory?

  • Where the singularity came from is a point of much discussion in physics. Some posit that it was in fact "nothing," but a flux due to collisions of n-branes that lead to gravitic density (singularity) without intrinsically anything being there. What Schroeder wrote was more about showing how Jewish tradition preemptively fits with modern sciences understanding of the BB, not just that "there was a beginning." When you're talking about it thousands of years before the concept is scientifically proposed, it speaks to something deeper. – Isaac Kotlicky May 28 '15 at 14:09
  • What is an n brane a membrane? Like in quantum mechanics? – Shoel U'Meishiv May 28 '15 at 14:10
  • Also, the theory doesn't "claim" anything about the singularity itself. BB theory really only starts right AFTER the singularity explodes, since there is no reasonable method to explain anything before that point (such as HOW it could explode and where it came from). – Isaac Kotlicky May 28 '15 at 14:11
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    Yeah I'm fake familiar with some parts of string theory, at least enough to sound interesting at a Kiddush. – Shoel U'Meishiv May 28 '15 at 14:13
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    @Mefaresh No. It's trying to help you understand the answer to your question. Although counter-intuitive, there may not have been any more space or time at the singularity which precipitated the big bang. (To be fair no one actually knows what happened at the singularity bc our equations break down. We can just describe in rough terms based on limits assuming no new factors.) – Double AA May 28 '15 at 15:04
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I think their main point is not that the theory in all its details is identical to the Jewish tradition. For thousands of years, conventional western wisdom was based on the Aristotelian assumption of kadmuth ha'olam - that the universe always was as it is. The modern discoveries of physics which talk about a finite point in time before which human speculation is pointless is much more in line with Jewish tradition (see, however, Moreh Nevukhim, who points out that technically even kadmuth ha'olam would not necessarily be a heretical idea).

  • Correct, we can't ASK Mah Lifnim, but that doesn't preclude there BEING something in that domain... – Isaac Kotlicky May 28 '15 at 14:15
  • @IsaacKotlicky maybe but it is much more compatible with the torah's account than aristotel's view – ray May 29 '15 at 12:42
  • where does the moreh nevuchim say kadmut haolam is not heretical? rambam says in many places that only God can be eternally existing – ray May 29 '15 at 12:44
  • @ray I don't think we're in disagreement on this... :D – Isaac Kotlicky May 29 '15 at 15:48
  • Rambam doesn't say that; this is a misconception based on a misreading of Moreh Nevuchim 2:25 @ray – wfb Jun 2 '15 at 21:21
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The point about the "Big Bang" is that given a point of creation, there must have been a creator. Thus, if the Big Bang was not the point of creation of the universe, then whatever came before had to have been created. Or perhaps whatever came "before" that or ...

Once scientists dropped the "eternal universe" theory for some starting point, They eventually get back to some point of creation (which is what we said from the beginning).

Our dating everything from the Creation of Adam means that we really do not understand exactly how Hashem created the Universe and what it entailed. We just know that he did something to cause the Universe to exist. That is why the Torah only gives a rough sketch and it is forbidden to try to teach the "Maaseh Beraishis" to two people as it involves subjects that are too deep to be explained to more than a single student.

For example I also mention the issue at What caused God?

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