When I think about old origin myths, I often have a vision about how future civilizations will talk about us. I wonder if we will be considered as just another link, in a long line of civilizations with ridiculous ideas about the beginning of everything.
For thousands of years, people kept coming up with different concepts to explain everything under the sun and the sun itself. They were all pretty dumb, but they sure made for some beautiful stories.
However. We are fairly certain that this time we got it right. I always think that’s pretty funny, it makes us look very cute and silly. Because we know that people never get this stuff right, but we still think that we have an accurate picture of things – even though we too are ‘people’.
Whenever I say any of this out loud though, you know, at a party or something, as you do, people look at me like I am on the frontlines of the weirdo parade. Some of them will just smile awkwardly and move away. To others it seems very important that I see reason. No amount of emphasis will be spared.
‘Obviously the Big Bang is a fact! What do you mean there are plot holes in the storyline? It’s not a story!’
‘Oh, come on! As if you completely understand it, Mark! You do? Well then, why don’t you tell me how nothing exploded? See? I didn’t think so.’
Of course there is always somebody who will pipe up with
Ooooh now I understand it! Finally! Quick question, where did ‘all the matter‘ come from? How was it created? How did it all end up in one single point? What determined how high the pressure would have to get before the whole thing exploded? Yes, I know, that was more then one questi – Laws of nature, really? Well, then were did those come from?? How did they come to determine everything?
School is for answering
I never wondered about any of these questions when I was in school. This is just what we were taught and so we went with it. Because the point of school is to pass your exams. Wait – no, the point of high school is to get educated. To become smart, questioning adults, I forgot.
My point is, we weren’t taught to ask. We are taught to answer. We were so focused on getting the answer right that we never stopped to wonder whether the teachers and the exams were even asking the right question.
(And yes, yes, I know that every now and then, a teacher would show up who said things about how “smart kids ask a lot of questions”. But nobody actually gets a good grade when instead of answering a question on their test, they write that the question is wrong. That just doesn’t happen in real life).
To the google!
So today, I googled it. I was going to understand this Big Bang thing once and for all.
Because guess what, jokes on you, Mark, science agrees with me. Apparently, The Big Bang isn’t the answer to how it all started. It’s the answer to how everything evolved after it started. That’s a pretty big difference, and I can’t believe that all the school teachers and all the people in all the world treat it like it’s all more or less the same thing. It’s not.
Something else I learned today: the Big Bang wasn’t even a big bang! It was more like a super fast expansion, then an actual explosion.
And then there’s this other tiny little thing. The Big Bang Theory – or the Rapid Expansion Theory as it should have been called – is still a theory. So not a fact, a theory.
What does that mean? Well, I’m glad you asked. It means that this concept has gotten itself out of the ‘hypothesis stage’ of science, but not into the ‘fact stage’. In fact – no pun intended – nothing ever gets into the ‘fact’ stage. In science world, the rule is that you always keep a tiny little possibility open that maybe, just maybe, we are wrong. And that’s how it should be, if you ask me. Everything is only ‘true’, until some oddball comes along who proves that it isn’t.
So if you meet someone who isn’t willing to keep open the possibility that maybe we might have it all wrong, they’re not a real deal scientist I don’t think. They’re either a random lay-person, like me, except they claim to know everything. Or they’re a phony scientist, revealing themselves as a phony. (To be clear, they probably think of themselves as a real deal scientist. I’m not saying that people go around pretending to be scientists)
Well, I feel a bit better. I no longer have to be embarrassed about the fact that my dumb brain never quite understood how ‘everything’ started with a big bang. And I’m not going to feel like a weirdo anymore for considering it as ‘merely one of the possible explanations’. Cause real deal scientist are still pondering about a big batch of follow-up questions about this theory, so why shouldn’t I?
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Disclaimer – this isn’t a real science lesson or anything, I’m not trying to ‘brush up’ anybody’s knowledge on astronomy, this isn’t that kind of blog. This was just me writing about this idea I have that future civilizations will laugh at our cute little concepts of how the world works. If I wanted to teach anybody about this I would have done weeks of research. And honestly, then it would still have been a bit ridiculous if I were to teach people about The Big Bang. There is however a ton of interesting stuff online about this Rapid Expansion Theory. Lots of articles that talk about what it actually is, as opposed to what people think it is (in our defense – we were taught to think those things in school!) But yeah, most non-science people are totally wrong about it. So look it up, go to YouTube and watch videos, google around a bit, you learn many interesting things and have fun fun fun. I recommend CrashCourse, SciShow, howstuffworks.com, Khan Academy and Kurtzgesagt for non-boring ways of learning.
 Fun fact, there are
even scientist out there, real deal scientist, who consider the whole theory to
be garbage. Who think that we are completely wrong about it and future
civilizations will definitely point and laugh at us