Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Big Bang Theory
Throughout the ages, most people believed that the cosmos had existed for all eternity in an unchanging or static condition, neither expanding nor contracting. One reason individuals held this belief was an absence of scientific data, coupled with the inability to answer questions about the universe through measurement and observation. Another reason was that most individuals' beliefs tended toward parochialism and traditionalism. They preferred to believe in eternal, absolute truths, which supported their beliefs in an eternal, infinite cosmos created by God. With the arrival of the 20th century, both science and technology had developed to the point where scientists were able to formulate and then explore the empirical validity of what is called the “big bang theory.” According to this theory of the origin of the universe, at one time all space and time were packed into an incredibly small package or dimension. About 14 billion years ago, this ...