Big Bang cosmology is the dominant theory for the beginning of the universe. This event supposedly occurred about 13.8 billion years ago and triggered a series of events leading to the formation of various elements and particles, and eventually planets and stars. But there have been a number of problems associated with the Big Bang, such as the existence of hypothetical entities needed to support it; some of those hypothetical entities include dark matter, dark energy, and inflation.
But now some scientists have been celebrating the discovery of polarized gravitational waves, and many are calling this direct evidence for inflation and the expansion of the universe. It’s the “smoking gun” scientists have been searching for, for decades- a fulfilled prediction of the Big Bang, and it lends credibility to its adherents. In addition, this discovery supposedly gives us clues as to how big the universe is and whether or not multiple universes could exist.
An article in Discovery acknowledged that inflation was considered a theoretical event that occurred after the Big Bang explosion. There was no direct evidence for inflation, yet it was accepted as part of the Big Bang because it was needed to make it work.
But even though scientists found the gravitational waves predicted by the Big Bang, they admit that the pattern of polarized signals were unexpected; they were actually “much stronger than expected.”
One of the things I found interesting about this discovery is that they’re calling it not just a homerun, but a “grand slam” and a “smoking gun”. It seems too good to be true. And if it is true, then this is everything evolutionists could hope for. But physicist Marc Kamionkowski at Johns Hopkins University was a little more cautious, saying, “These results are as extraordinary as they get, and they will require the most extraordinary scrutiny.”
I’m glad someone is expressing caution and calling for reason; I think most people are celebrating too soon. He also said, “It will be essential in the years to come to follow through with more detailed and precise measurements to infer fully what this telegram is telling us.” I couldn’t agree more; scientists need to be careful not to misinterpret the data- something that commonly happens when attempting to find support for the theories they’ve invested their lives in.
Another reaction I had when I first heard about this discovery was that this was just another hyped up explanation; I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that some discovery proves the Big Bang or some other evolutionary theory. But if such theories really had been proven in the first place, then we wouldn’t need discoveries like this to prove them even more. Back in 2006 scientists at NASA wrongly reported that proof for inflation was found, but it turned out to be premature. Further, even if current evidence does demonstrate that inflation is a real phenomenon, it doesn’t overturn the creationist cosmology. Creationists already believe in a form of inflation and Big Bang- just not the type espoused by secular science. Creationists believe that God stretched out the heavens like a tent (Psalm 104:2), so support for inflation would be just fine by me. My only hesitation is that secular scientists are claiming this for themselves, and I’d like nothing more than to see the Big Bang theory abandoned for a lack of evidence.
I think the important point to take away from this discovery is that it doesn’t prove the Big Bang or inflation. Those who understand science often make the distinction that science doesn’t prove anything; science simply demonstrates whether or not a theory is well-supported by the data. And while this discovery may do just that, there’s much more to consider. Since the announcement of this discovery, scientists have indicated that there are other explanations that could account for the gravitational waves that have nothing to do with inflation.
In fact just three days after the press release of this discovery, another paper was submitted indicating that “Cosmologists cast doubt on inflation evidence.” James B. Dent of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette said, “In order to provide compelling evidence, other possible sources of the signal need to be ruled out. While the Inflationary signal remains the best motivated source, the current measurement unfortunately still allows for the possibility [of another cause]”.
Other possible mechanisms, causes, or sources of the gravitational waves haven’t been ruled out, so no one can positively claim that inflation is the correct answer, even if they believe it’s the best explanation at the moment. Inflationary theory is actually very broad and includes a large number of variations, so this discovery simply rules out certain versions that don’t work. And while the predictive power of the theory has been invoked, the predictions are dependent on the model and how it changes. There could be unknown causes that no one has considered yet, or it could have been produced when God stretched out the heavens- something secular scientists would never consider. Evolutionists may celebrate this finding, but, in reality, it doesn’t settle anything; it merely produces more questions that must be addressed.