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The Big Bang Theory And Christian Cosmology

1227 words - 5 pages

To more fully understand the Big Bang theory and the evidence on which it progressed from, an overview of its earlier development over many centuries is needed. Present day ideas concerning the Big Bang theory can be seen as having first originated within modern European science. However before these ideas were developed, most explanations concerning the origins of the universe were based on religious themes and concepts, the primary tradition being Christianity. These Christian origin stories explain the appearance of the universe as being the work of an all powerful and omnipresent God. It is within this tradition that one of the first scientific attempts at understanding our universe’s ...view middle of the document...

Ptolemy’s proposed model of the universe provided a catalyst for criticism and the revival of old theories, eventually resulting in significant scientific discoveries by Nicolaus Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton. This rejection of Ptolemy proved to be a turning point in our understanding of the way the universe operates, and ignited later speculation into mapping of the universe and origins. In the 1500’s, polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus rebuked Ptolemy’s model of the universe to re-introduce the idea that it was the sun that lay at the centre of the universe, not the earth. This became known as the Copernicium principle. In addition to this, German astronomer Johannes Kepler proved through mathematical calculations that the planets orbited in ellipses - contrasting Ptolemy’s proposition that they rotated around the earth in perfect circles. Perhaps most importantly was the contributions of Galileo Galilei, who was one of the first to view the heavens using a telescope. Galileo was able to disprove various aspects of Ptolemy’s model, and provide an explanation as to why we don’t feel the earth moving if it is in fact orbiting the sun. He argued that if everything on earth is sharing the same direction and speed of movement, it feels as if nothing is moving. By the end of the 17th century, Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity and laws of motion had almost completely dismissed the Ptolemaic model. These breakthroughs provided scientists with a better understanding of the universe, thus allowing for new research opportunities and the introduction of new questions and challenges.

A better understanding of the universe allowed scientists to explore these ideas further and in more detail, resulting in an interest in mapping the stars and planets. These attempts would eventually result in the modern ideas about the universe and its origins that we accept today. By the 19th century, astronomers had developed reasonably accurate ways to track stars and their movements, through the use of parallax. Parallax states that the movement of the observer results in changes of the relationship of two fixed objects. Tracking the movement of stars was further enhanced through the creation of telescopes, allowing astronomers to record minuscule changes in positions of our nearest stars, thus allowing them to estimate the distance to some of them. As a result, the sheer vastness and size of the universe began to become apparent. Further measuring techniques were developed throughout the years, such as Henrietta Leavitt’s period-luminosity relationship. It was Edwin Hubble however, who made major discoveries...

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