I’ve long been troubled by the Big Bang Theory. It seems implausible that the entire universe erupted from a singularity – infinite heat and density – overcoming its own gravity to form all that exists. Aside from concerns about the physics of stuffing literally everything into a space that Planck himself would’ve described as ‘Teensy,’ I’ve got a handful of other bits that bug me.
First is the recurring issue of incredibly old stars. Every few news cycles more stars are being discovered that appear to have come into being about the same time that the universe was just getting off the ground. In some cases, the stars have been so old that it seems astrophysicists wind up rewriting their calculations to ensure that their new found glowing gaseous eggs don’t predate the chicken from which they came.
The second concern is with our apparent placement within the visible universe. As Galileo pointed out, it is the height of arrogance to assume that you occupy a special place at the center of everything. I mean, what are the odds that we would find ourselves so close to the center of all creation when so much of creation isn’t the center? Doesn’t it seem like there should be a thinning in one particular direction of the night sky’s freckling with countless galaxies? If the density let up just a little somewhere, that might indicate that we were closer to an ‘edge.’ Instead in any direction we look, the background of galaxies is more or less constant as is the cosmic microwave radiation which is hailed as proof of the universe’s Krakatoa.
The third problem for me is the expansion of the universe… or rather with the fact that the expansion seems to be speeding up rather than slowing down or remaining the same. This one is a problem that should bother anyone who ever took high school physics. Things don’t accelerate unless acted on by some force – be it gravity or the engine connected to your gas pedal. So, why (or how) is the universe speeding up?
Now, I’m certainly not qualified to answer any of these questions. Perhaps I’m not even bright enough to understand the problem at hand. I don’t have training in astrophysics, or even regular physics for that matter. I have no special mathematical background that would even cause someone to bother to sample my opinion on the subject.
What I do have is an IDEA… a particularly itchy one that I just can’t scratch.
We’ve all been told that the vacuum of space isn’t truly empty, that it is in fact boiling over with the constant activity of the quantum foam. Virtual particles are continually popping in and out of existence. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that on very rare occasions one of these virtual particles is, through some disturbance, parted from its antiparticle enough that the two don’t immediately cancel each other out and return to the foam. Instead, the particles go from being virtual to actual. Obviously, this would be an incredibly rare event, but in the vastness of space, perhaps it happens often enough for actual measurable quantities of matter to appear albeit spread very thin.
Now suppose that space is entirely a function of the presence of matter. Without a ‘thing’ there is no space for it to occupy. We already know that the presence of matter – massive bodies – warps space. What if the very existence of space depends on the matter that lies within? If new matter were created, would it create new space? If new matter were being created all the time in the vastness of intergalactic space, wouldn’t that cause the space between galaxies to grow? If so, wouldn’t the galaxies furthest from us appear to move away faster simply because there is more space between us in which to create even more new space?
Within the tracts of newly created space, perhaps the presence of matter causes virtual particle pairs to more often make the transition to actual particles. If so, then over huge time scales enough matter might form that it begins to be affected by its own gravity and new galaxies are born.
Under my proposal, every point in all of creation would appear to be the center point and every galaxy would appear to move away from it with those furthest away moving the fastest. Old stars aren’t a problem because the universe need not have a singular spectacular beginning. Instead it is infinite and in continuous creation.