Talk:Age of the universe

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"Scientific" change to "Evolutionary"[edit]

Hello everyone,

I am the one who changed the word scientific to evolutionary and the other changes that made evolution appear as one view and creationism as another view. I only did so since:

1. There are sources that believe that creationism is science as opposed to evolution (Answers in Genesis, the Institute for Creation Research, etc.) and especially

2. The most reliable source states that creationism is true -- the Bible.

Of course you may think, "The Bible? The Bible isn't even a scientific book," but the writers of the Bible claim that what they wrote came from God, who is omniscient (one brief reference to this is 2 Tim. 3:16). If the writers are correct, that would:

1. Imply that God exists, of course, and

2. Prove that the Bible is always correct on all areas, such as science, that it talks about.

The apostle Peter wanted Christians to always be ready to give evidence for what they believed (1 Pet. 3:15), which implies that he believed that there was evidence to give. Since the books in the Bible were written years ago, when people did not know as many scientific facts as we do today, they of course, would have made scientific errors; unless, of course, they were inspired by God. Therefore, let's see what happens when the Bible touches on science:

1. When the book of Job was written, people believed that the earth was hung on an animal , or a monster, etc.; yet Job says that God ". . . hangs the earth on nothing" (Job 26:7 NKJV).

2. The prophet Isaiah says that God ". . . is He who sits above the circle of the earth. . ." (Isaiah 40:22 NKJV). This shows the Bible's belief on the earth's shape.

3. Ecclesiastes 1:6 describes a cycle of air currents: "The wind goes toward the south, And turns around to the north; The wind whirls about continually, And comes again on its circuit" (NKJV).

4. The verse after that, Ecclesiastes 1:7, describes exactly why we never run out of water in the ocean: "All rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full; To the place from which the rivers come, There they return again" (NKJV). This does happen when seawater evaporates into clouds, goes through the air, comes down as rain, forms rivers, and comes goes into the sea, "the place from which the rivers come".

There are many other passages that could be used as well. Since the Bible has always been scientifically correct before, it would make since that it would be correct on the Earth's age.

When it comes to Wikipedia's weight policy, wouldn't the Bible, seeing that its beliefs on science have always been correct, have at least enough weight to tie that of evolution's? The Bible cannot be proven to be false. In fact, the first thing stated in the entire Bible, Genesis, 1:1-2, mentions all five of what makes the universe up; time, space, matter, power, and motion; in saying this: "In the beginning" (time) "God created" (power) "the heavens" (space) "and the earth" (matter)". . . . And the Spirit of God was hovering" (motion) "over the face of the waters."

So what do you all think? Shall we use the wording that I created before? If anyone opposes please explain why we should preserve the present edition. The Sackinator (talk) 02:14, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

I moved this post down to the bottom and put it in a new section. The section it was in was 2 years old, so it's really unlikely anyone would have seen it up there. Sackinator, feel free to change the section title if you'd like; I just made one up for you.   — Jess· Δ 03:00, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Thank you, Jess. That works. The Sackinator (talk) 03:18, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Your change of "scientific" to "evolutionary" was ignorant on several levels, the salient one being that the origin of the universe has nothing to do with evolution. The Bible is obviously thoroughly unreliable on scientific matters, which Job and Isaiah both demonstrate. We should keep the current wording because unlike your revision, it's factual. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 05:13, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Hello Röbin ,

I admit that my change was ignorant on, not multiple levels, but one: that evolution has nothing to do with the Earth's age; it is based on radiometric dating, which supports evolutionary beliefs. In order for it to be considered a fact, radiometric dating would have to be believed by everyone (I use this term loosely, for if you looked hard enough you probably could find someone who denies even gravity). Although radiometric dating is used to discover the ages of rocks, it is not believed by everyone. In fact, as was said in ChristianAnswers.Net, there are unreliable assumptions that one has to make to go along with what they believe on their radiometric estimations on rocks:

"1. The starting conditions are known (for example, that there was no daughter isotope present at the start, or that we know how much was there).

2. Decay rates have always been constant.

3. Systems were closed or isolated so that no parent or daughter isotopes were lost or added."[1]

Furthermore, you said that Job and Isaiah have made statements contradictory to science? What were those statements and where can we find those statements?

Since I have been proven wrong on changing "scientific" to "evolutionary," I suggest that we change the wording to "radiometric." The Sackinator (talk) 19:54, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Radiometric dating is not really part of the evidence for the age of the universe. The oldest rocks we can date are from the solar system, which is quite a bit younger than the universe. Also, radiometric dating is scientific regardless of how many people believe in it. I'm afraid has given you some false information about it. But it isn't really relevant to this article. thx1138 (talk) 20:07, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Respectfully, The Sackinator, your entire argument is fundamentally flawed. The Bible is in no way a reliable, modern source of scientific discussion; science isn't about the beliefs you claim the Bible is "correct" on, it's about testable hypotheses and observations. In fact, the Bible is better described as a primary source than a secondary source and is therefore not a well-suited source on those grounds alone, never mind the fact that it's unscientific and wrong. See WP:PRIMARY. —Alex (ASHill | talk | contribs) 21:52, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

First of all, I've been told twice that the Bible is wrong, so how is it incorrect? I need a book, chapter, and verse that makes a false claim about science. As I already posted, the Bible made scientific statements (such as the earth not being hung on anything) that later were proven to be correct. How did they know these things were correct? WP:PRIMARY says, "Secondary or tertiary sources are needed to establish the topic's notability and to avoid novel interpretations of primary sources, though primary sources are permitted if used carefully." If I use the Bible to state something, Alex, how is that wrong? The Sackinator (talk) 22:35, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Flammarion engraving
"What were those statements and where can we find those statements?" I was referring to those scientifically inaccurate verses you cited in your first comment, above. Job in particular goes on to mention the earth's foundation, and the pillars supporting it (9:6, 38:4). Both books accord with ancient Hebrew cosmology, which imagined the world as a flat, round disc, held up by pillars, with the stars mounted on a sky dome above. It seems intellectually dishonest to cite Ecclesiastes 1:6 and 1:7 as proof the Bible's scientific accuracy, conveniently skipping over the geocentrism of Ecclesiastes 1:5. I could also bring up Psalms 104:5, Matthew 4:8, and many others. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 04:35, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
The Bible tells us what the authors of the Bible either believed themselves or thought were important narratives to include. It's not a science book and wasn't intended as one. thx1138 (talk) 23:37, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
The Bible begins with a description of God creating everything in six days: first the earth and trees, then the sun. (In reality, the sun actually formed millions of years before the earth. Not on day 4, but in year 9 billion and change.) Followed by a fable about a talking snake convincing a woman, who sprang to life from a bone, to eat a fruit from a magic tree. Tell me again how your Bible is the “most reliable source” of scientific knowledge. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 05:04, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
thx1138, it is true that the Bible is not a book that's purpose is to teach science, but since the writers claim that what they wrote came from God, that would mean that if their writings ever were wrong on a true scientific implication or statement that either God would not be all-knowing or the Bible could not be His word. The Sackinator (talk) 04:03, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
Röbin Liönheart , you need to know that the book of Job was written poetically (this does not mean that it is a fairy-tail and cannot be understood, but that certain words, such as pillar, can be used figuratively and should not be used dogmatically to mean a literal structure supporting the earth), so the word pillar, as used here, could mean mountains. After all, Job wouldn't contradict himself of course (see Job 26:7).
In Matt. 4:8, two are being talked about: Jesus and Satan, two supernatural beings. Seeing that they're supernatural, we cannot judge those who are in this verse like we would judge mortal, human beings. Jesus would not even need to be on the mountain to see the whole earth; He could see the whole universe no matter where He was.
Another thing: You said that I was "intellectually dishonest" for talking about Ecclesiastes 1:6 and 7 while skipping verse 5, which mentions the sun going up and down. Ecclesiastes was talking from a man looking from the earth's perspective of the sun. We even use expressions like this today, yes, even in an age in which everyone in his right mind knows that the earth revolves around the sun: "I better be going, John; the sun's setting." The sun doesn't set as we all know. What's intellectually dishonest is that you are ignoring the compelling evidence for the writer of Ecclesiastes' inspiration (him being able to know, for example, the water cycle, which one in his time could have no way of discovering), and you rather try to act as if the writer of Ecclesiastes was teaching a scientifically incorrect belief only because he talks from a man standing on earth's point of view of the sun!
And finally, you said that the Bible is insane because of what Genesis teaches. Why do you act as though I'm a lunatic simply because I believe that God made created the universe about 6,000 years ago; that the first woman, Eve, was made from the first man, Adam's rib; and that Satan could take the form of a serpent and get Eve to eat from the tree which gave knowledge of good and evil, which God commanded them not to eat? Well, the Bible is scientifically correct every other time that the writers stated a fact that, until it was proved, sounded insane at first. For example, people at Job's time, based on what scientific facts they could experiment at that time, might think it foolish to believe that the earth is just floating around. They may have thought that it could not be true at all, since everything seems to fall: People, horses, fruit, vegetables, etc. When the ground is dug up, you can find that it fall, so surely the the earth can't float; it must be hung on an animal or something. Well, that could be what they thought at that time, but, if you think about it, what would the animal be on? Another animal? Would that animal be on another animal? This type of reasoning doesn't work. If everything falls down, including the animals that supposedly carried the earth, then wouldn't that mean that, even if there were an infinite line of animals standing on eachother, that they would still fall, since there is no floor for them to stand on? And if they were on a floor, wouldn't it fall then, since it's not on something? Job believed that God ". . . hangs the earth on nothing" (Job 26:7 NKJV) You can see that the reasoning for an animal or pillars holding the earth is un-reasonable. Isn't this much like what you most likely believe, though? You must not believe that matter has been eternal, since no true scientists could believe such a thing. You must believe in the Big Bang, right? If yes, then think about this: Saying that there was a time when there was 100 percent zero matter begs the question: How did the matter get here from absolute nothingness, and how did living matter come from non-living matter? Please answer these, Mr. Liönheart. The Sackinator (talk) 04:03, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
Irrespective of the merits of your interpretation of the scientific merit of the bible, this interpretation is original research. It only belongs in this scientific article if a reliable source that doesn't present a fringe view of the scientific consensus presents this interpretation. This discussion is moving well away from potential improvements to the article and into a forum for discussion of the merits of the bible as science, which is not appropriate for a talk page. —Alex (ASHill | talk | contribs) 04:43, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
"And finally, you said that the Bible is insane because of what Genesis teaches" Nobody said that. You're reading into what other people are saying. thx1138 (talk) 16:46, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
True scientists could and did indeed believe in conservation of mass, or in your words, "matter has been eternal". Matter got here not from absolute nothingness, but from radiation (more specifically: about 0.0001 second after the universe began expanding, elementary particles froze out of radiation when the temperature dropped below 1013 degrees Kelvin). Wikipedia has articles you can read about the Big Bang and abiogenesis if you wish more information about them. And why do you assume that I'm a "Mr."? ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 21:05, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
Röbin, first of all, I would like to say that I am both sorry and embarrassed for assuming that you were male.
Conversation of mass isn't synonymous with matter is eternal. All people can prove from conservation of mass is that mass presently is conserved; this doesn't mean it was always that way. However it's an assumption that one might make from conservation of mass. One belief, which doesn't contradict the conversation of mass, which I believe since that's what the Bible teaches, is that God created the quantity of mass that's presently in the Universe and then ". . .ended His work which He had done. . ." (Gen 2:2).
About mass coming from radiation 0.0001 seconds after the Big Bang began: How is this a scientific belief? Can it be proven, or is it an assumptious belief? Can one prove that it wasn't, say, 0.0002 seconds, for example? You see, this is a guess. How is a guess any better than creationism? After all, I can at least prove that the Bible is always scientifically correct, as I have been doing (and, I can give published references that say the same thing as well).
True scientists could and did believe in false things which the Bible was always up to-date on, for another example, blood-letting. Lev. 17:11, which has always been up to-date, says, ". . . the life of the flesh is in the blood . . ." (NKJV). Why then can we say that the Bible contradicts true science? What humans believe has ended up being changed; God's Word stays the same, yet never needs an update.
Speaking of true scientists, Andrew Snelling, , a geologist who graduated with a PhD from the University of Sydney, is a creationist who believes strongly in the six-day creation ( Werner Gitt is another man who is a creationist. There is a book about 50 different scientists who have a PhD (
Thx, I wasn't reading into Liönheart's post; I was simply answering based on what is to be implied from what she said. If I said that I'm talking to the one who's first three letters are "T," "H," AND "X," everyone would know that I'm talking about you, Thx; if Ms. Liönheart says, and I'll put the parts to notice in bold, "The Bible begins with a description of God creating everything in six days . . . Followed by a fable about a talking snake convincing a woman, who sprang to life from a bone, to eat a fruit from a magic tree. Tell me again how your Bible is the “most reliable source” of scientific knowledge." it is clear that she is claiming that the Bible is a crazy myth, a fantasy, a fairy-tale.
"Fable" doesn't mean "crazy". It means it's a fable; a myth. thx1138 (talk) 16:24, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
"The Three Little Pigs" is a fable, a fantasy, and a fairy tale. It's not crazy; it's a story with a message. (But we should treat it like literature, not like a historical account because that would be silly.) ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 17:52, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
Alex, you said that I interpreted the Bible. My point is that some, if not, all of you, are saying that the Bible should be considered non-scientific while atheism should be considered scientific. People, like I, interpret the Bible; yet they, including the ones who made the article Hebrew cosmology, interpret poetic words to be literal words and state their interpretations as fact, resulting in the Bible appearing to be false. I know published sources that use the poetic interpretations I used if I need them. Regardless, Röbin Liönheart's interpretations contradicted the very writer, Job's, belief of the earth (see Job 26:7).
No, we should consider science scientific. Atheism has nothing to do with it. Young earth creationism conflicts with scientific evidence, not because scientists have an anti-religious bias, but because their religion conflicts with reality.
An internal contraction in Job should not be too surprising, because the Bible often contradicts itself. But its contradiction between our world resting on "nothing" in 26:7 and on pillars in 9:6 and 38:4 (and Psalms 75:3, Psalms 104:5, 1 Samuel 2:8, &c.) would actually be because תהו, here translated "nothing", does not mean the vacuum of space. Job thought our world was not suspended in vacuum but held above a primeval celestial ocean. In the beginning, God hovered over the surface of the deep, and separated the waters below from the waters above, holding them back with a sky dome firmament (Genesis 1), a vault restraining waters above the sun, moon, and stars (which he later unleashes in the Flood). Pillars support it too (Job 26:11, Samuel 22:8) located in the waters surrounding our flat earth (Psalms 104:3), also home to the sea monster Leviathan that God describes extensively in Job 41. In ancient Hebrew cosmology, oceans surround our world, above and below.
You're trying to retrofit our modern scientific understanding of our solar system onto the primitive geocentric flat-earth cosmology in ancient Hebrew myths. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 12:08, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Everyone, What I ask is that, seeing that as long as one uses the context of the Bible, it not only doesn't contradict science, but even is ahead of scientists' knowledge of the universe, that we could simply change the word scientific to (I know that evolutionary doesn't work, since my meaning of it, "non-creationist", isn't its professional term; or especially radiometric as it has nothing to do with the Universe's age; I was just using that term as I accidentally forgot that this is the Age of the Universe's talk page, and not the Age of the Earth's) atheistic. The Sackinator (talk) 21:39, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

You are mistaken about the Bible. It reflects the scientific understanding of the people who wrote it. The scientific consensus about the age of the universe is based on multiple lines of evidence which have been rigorously tested. That's how science is done. There's nothing atheistic about it - many cosmologists are not atheists, and most Christians do not interpret the Bible as you do. I'm afraid you have been misled by some dishonest people. thx1138 (talk) 16:24, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
The Sackinator, I just noticed the very helpful information Jess provided on your talk page. Jess clearly laid out the criteria we use on Wikipedia for determining whether a source meets the reliable source definition used here and how to represent the scientific consensus. The Bible very clearly does not represent the modern scientific consensus and thus has no role as a source on this scientific article. Please review that discussion. If you object to any of the statements in the Age of the Universe article, please note your specific objection, which is most easily done by adding a [citation needed] tag to the relevant statement in the article itself. If there are no statements in the article which aren't supported by reliable sources, then this discussion is pointless. Admittedly, this is not the best-sourced article on Wikipedia, but essentially all of its content is uncontroversial within the scientific community and as taught in introductory astronomy-major university courses; I'd certainly welcome help to improve the references with reliable sources. —Alex (ASHill | talk | contribs) 16:37, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
And perhaps more to the point, "scientific" doesn't mean "correct"; it means following the scientific process. Most importantly, for an idea to be scientific, it must be disprovable (testable) by experiment or observation. Anything, such as the word of God, that is "always correct on all areas" is not disprovable and therefore not scientific. Therefore, the hatnote as it currently stands is clear, concise, and appropriate for this article. —Alex (ASHill | talk | contribs) 17:26, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
If, for example, the Universe's Age being 13.772 ± 0.059 billion years is scientifically proven, then why are there scientists today who deny it and explain why they do? Isn't calling their beliefs on the Universe's age un-scientific giving too much weight to one side? The Sackinator (talk) 23:36, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
We don't care what scientists (or creationists) think; we care what reliable sources say. —Alex (ASHill | talk | contribs) 01:12, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
None of those scientists have published their research in reputable peer-reviewed journals and had it confirmed by other cosmologists. If they were to do so, we would have a reliable source to reference in the article. thx1138 (talk) 14:29, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Ms. Liönheart, all of your references to the Bible were taken out of context, and only one reference actually sounded like the pillars hold up the earth-1st Samuel 2:8. 1st Sam. 2:8 is a thankful prayer by Hannah. It also is very poetic. Are you going to take the entire prayer out of its poetic context? Are you going to make up that, since Hannah said that her horn (which really means power) is exalted, Hebrew tradition must've took rams' horns and whoever had the longest and largest horn exalted it in the Lord and attributed it to the Lord? Also, are you going to say that, since Hannah said, ". . . neither is there any rock like our God" (Verse 2, KJV) that they must have believed that God was a physical rock structure? If you observe the context, pillars are talking about God's prophets, His governments, etc, who hold up the world, the people. Notice how Jeremiah was made a pillar: "For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar . . ." (Jer. 1:18). Also notice Rev. 3:12: "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God . . ."
You said that Leviathan was in the waters surrounding a flat earth? Why then does Psalm 104:26 say that Leviathan was in the waters where sailors sail?
Regardless, Genesis was talking about a time when the waters were both below and above the land (in the sky). It would be wrapped around Earth the same way that the sky does. Hence, the earth was standing out of the water and also was in the water (2. Pet. 3:5). Here's a link on the subject:
I believe you made a mistake; the original Hebrew word does mean nothingness, which is a poetic way of saying what I already told you.. Look it up. Perhaps use Online Bible and look up its Strong's Number, if you know what I mean by that.
Am I trying to retrofit the Bible? Really? What I said, unlike what you said, is within those passages' context. If the Bible truly has false beliefs and was not guided by Deity, then how come the writers knew what they, without any other means, could know?

Everyone, here're citations to the fact that some creation scientists disbelieve in the Universe's age being the age that Wikipedia says and explains why: Also, see

I'm not asking to remove the age that is presently on the article; I'm asking for the article to say what it says, yet say that some scientists believe otherwise. The Sackinator (talk) 19:04, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Institute for Creation Research is not a reliable source. None of their claims have been published in any reputable journals, and the reason for that is that their claims have no evidence to substantiate them. Just in the example you gave, there is no evidence there was ever a sphere of water surrounding the earth like a canopy. I am sorry that you have been led astray by ICR. Whether they are dishonest or just incompetent is not for me to say, but the information they are presenting is false. You would do well to examine their claims critically and see what scientists have to say about them. thx1138 (talk) 19:46, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
I note that the Wikipedia policy of undue weight WP:UNDUE excludes opinions which are a small minority, and Young Earth Creationism definitely fits that description. Wikipedians do not claim expertise, but defer to those who are recognized experts, and we do not need to, and should not, argue the evidence for the age of the universe against (or along with, for that matter) the universal judgement of the experts. TomS TDotO (talk) 20:05, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

I do not agree with what you all say, but since I cannot change your minds, we'll just leave the text as it is. The weight does go to the beliefs that are on here, but still, no one can answer how the Bible knew those scientific facts that I listed. Maybe some day, people will discover that the Universe is younger than they say it is now as well. Maybe I'll come back when the weight moves closer towards the creationist point of view. Farewell, The Sackinator (talk) 21:45, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Planck data[edit]

Planck says 13.82 billion years. Are we prepared to accept the following source:

or can someone find it in the original papers at:

©Geni 17:50, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

I would wait for the paper(s), at least before modifying the lede. The new Planck number is (barely) within the uncertainty we quote, and a news article doesn't let us quote the combined uncertainty, which I think is currently done quite well. —Alex (ASHill | talk | contribs) 19:20, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
I inserted the combined number from Table 9 of paper I from the data release, which is 13.798±0.037. Not sure why the different mean number, but obviously consistent with the number in the press. —Alex (ASHill | talk | contribs) 19:56, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Use of the word "defined"[edit]

Hi everyone. Is there a source or style guideline to support the use of the word "defined" in the lead sentence? I will agree that there is a valid distinction between the definition of the term and the measurement (something I didn't think of when I made my edit) but beyond that it seems to me that even in such a case the word "defined" should not be used; it seems unnecessarily pedantic, as well as WP:WEASEL.

I also checked a few other articles, e.g. momentum, prime number, and matrix (mathematics). Based on the same logic, these could all be described using the word "defined" (in fact, I think the argument is stronger in these cases), but they aren't. I haven't seen any support for the practice in physical cosmology articles either. Arc de Ciel (talk) 07:41, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

I don't feel at all strongly about "defined"; I was perhaps unduly influenced by what I saw as flawed logic in the edit summary. I do think that a mention of and link to physical cosmology is useful. Would "In physical cosmology, the age of the universe is the time elapsed since the Big Bang." be a better first sentence? —Alex (ASHill | talk | contribs) 00:30, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply - I was perhaps unduly influenced by what seemed like possible fringe POV push content. :-) (I spend a lot of my Wikipedia time dealing with such content.) I've made your suggested change; I would still prefer not to include the phrase "in physical cosmology" but I'll leave that issue for another day. Arc de Ciel (talk) 08:30, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough; I find the same re fringe content. My only reason for the physical cosmology bit is to say that's the subfield of astrophysics that deals with this since many readers may not know (and I didn't before I took my first undergrad cosmology class many years ago). I don't feel strongly about that either. —Alex (ASHill | talk | contribs) 10:00, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Age: It is not clear about the unit of time being used. When we talk about the age of a stone as 10 million years, we have some idea and assume that the year being talked about is the same year we are familiar with. However, how the notion of time changes when we reach close to the singularity is not clear to most people. How the concept of time is chagning with the cosmological scale and phase or epoch?chami 19:22, 2 November 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ck.mitra (talkcontribs)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. Favonian (talk) 11:58, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

– The pages titled God becomes the Universe and Shape of the Universe are the only ones that have got it right. The Universe is a place. As with the United Kingdom (only somewhat larger). And we capitalize place names, yes? And so we ought to capitalize Universe across all of these titles, to be consistent with ourselves. DeistCosmos (talk) 03:51, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Comment it would depend on if the universe's name is Universe or not... which is where we get into many problems in our treatment of the Solar System, the Sun, the Moon and the Earth, where many articles do not treat the Moon as the name of our moon, but just use "moon" to refer to the local moon (body orbiting a planet). And more problematically using "earth" to refer to the planet when properly this refers to dirt. Also "solar system" to refer to the local solar system instead of "Solar System" to refer to our solar system (system of stars and non-stellar bodies that orbits them in a tightly constrained manner). Similarly, the "sun", the local sun, instead of the "Sun", our sun (the local star). -- (talk) 04:39, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
    • Well except for the expanding one, none of these titles reflect 'a' universe or 'any' universe, but 'the' universe. In my book Universe always ought to be capitalized. DeistCosmos (talk) 04:42, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
      • What do reliable sources (well respected journals, texts, or even better style guides) have to say on the matter? --Jayron32 05:26, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
        • Whatever it is, some of these are already wrong, since they're not internally consistent. DeistCosmos (talk) 05:34, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: As discussed above, we need to be consistent regardless, so pointing out the inconsistency is good. A secondary point is that we should not imply through our prose or internal styling that there is more than one universe, since there is no explicit evidence for any universe other than the one that we are in. That means that the analogy with "the Solar System" is wrong. I have no real preference for or against capitalization, but both of these points need to be ovserved in any resolution of the problem. (talk) 13:39, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It's the titles of God becomes the Universe and Shape of the Universe that need to be changed to decapitalize universe; note that in the bodies of those articles (except for the first sentence of the former) the word is consistently lowercased. I can't find universe specifically mentioned in any style manual I have at hand, but that's probably because they suppose that no one would think of capitalizing it as a proper name. It's essentially universally lowercase in running prose. Deor (talk) 15:08, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The NASA Style Guide specifically says not to capitalize universe. - Aoidh (talk) 15:55, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
    • Do you capitalize your mother's name, Aoidh? Because the Universe is our mother, our Creator. I actually think it to be disrespectful to not capitalize it. I am surprised that NASA would so advise. But I would point put again, two pages in this series do capitalize Universe, and they are the correct ones. Everybody seems to agree that all of these pages ought to be capitalized consistently, but if this move fails they won't be. If you want the other pages to be lowercased, you'll have to be the one to propose that, because I absolutely never will. DeistCosmos (talk) 17:25, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
      • FWIW - seems a mother's name may be capitalized, but not the word mother; likewise, a universe's name may be capitalized perhaps, but not the word universe - at least this seems to make sense to me at the moment - in any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 17:41, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
  • I would capitalize her name but I would not capitalize mother, so that's not a good comparison. Unless you have a reliable source that says that it would be disrespectful to not capitalize universe, that just seems like an appeal to emotion. Do you have any reliable sources (especially style guides or manuals of style) that would support capitalizing universe in such a way? If not, then I can only go with what reliable sources are on hand, and those specifically state that universe should not be capitalized. - Aoidh (talk) 17:33, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
  • What if your mother's name were Mother? Or if that was simply the only way you called her? To tackle this from an opposite tack, our planet is named Earth; our galaxy is named Milky Way. So what, then, is our Universe named? What is it, if not Universe? DeistCosmos (talk) 18:27, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
  • "What if" is irrelevant, especially when based on a flawed comparison. Do you have any reliable sources that support what you're saying? If you're planning on convincing anyone that universe should be capitalized, that is what matters. - Aoidh (talk) 18:57, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
  • That's not very convincing evidence; that's not a manual of style or a style guideline or even close to a well-known work; it's a book published by an independent publisher and is demonstrably the exception and not the rule, as per the rather overwhelming evidence below. Since initially commenting I've taken a good look at what sources use and what manuals of style dictate, and I'm even more convinced that universe should not be capitalized per Modern English convention. - Aoidh (talk) 00:43, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Aoidh, who found an actual reliable source on the matter, and is to be commended for that, since that helps settle the issue. Unless and until other sources contradict that, we should go with it, and move other articles to match that. --Jayron32 16:04, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose Why not just have a redirect from the cap-U versions to the lower-u versions? TomS TDotO (talk) 16:40, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - (thanks to Aoidh above) => "Do not capitalize solar system and universe." (quoted from the NASA Style Guide) - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 17:15, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

FWIW - Although the word "universe" is not referred to directly, perhaps the following quotes from the WP:MOS may help in some way?

Copied from MOS - General:

Celestrial bodies

  • When used generally, the words sun, earth, and moon do not take capitals (The sun was peeking over the mountain top; The tribal people of the Americas thought of the whole earth as their home), except when the entity is personified (Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the Roman sun god) or when the term names a specific astronomical body (The Moon orbits the Earth; but Io is a moon of Jupiter).
  • Names of planets, moons, asteroids, comets, stars, constellations, and galaxies are proper nouns, and therefore capitalized (The planet Mars can be seen tonight in the constellation Gemini, near the star Pollux; Halley's Comet is the most famous of the periodic comets; The Andromeda Galaxy is a spiral galaxy). The first letter of every word in such a name is capitalized (Alpha Centauri and not Alpha centauri; Milky Way, not Milky way).

Copied from MOS - Celestrial Bodies:

Celestrial bodies

  • The words sun, earth, moon and solar system are capitalized (as proper nouns) when used in an astronomical context to refer to a specific celestial body (our Sun, Earth, Moon and Solar System): The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System; The Moon orbits the Earth. They are not capitalized when used outside an astronomical context (The sky was clear and the sun felt warm), or when used in a general sense (Io is a moon of Jupiter). However, they are capitalized in personifications, as in Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the Roman sun god.
  • Names of planets, moons, asteroids, comets, stars, constellations, and galaxies are proper nouns and begin with a capital letter (The planet Mars can be seen tonight in the constellation Gemini, near the star Pollux). The first letter of every word in such a name is capitalized (Alpha Centauri and not Alpha centauri; Milky Way, not Milky way). In the case of compounds with generic terms such as comet and galaxy (but not star or planet), follow the International Astronomical Union's recommended style and include the generic as part of the name and capitalize it (Halley's Comet is the most famous of the periodic comets; Astronomers describe the Andromeda Galaxy as a spiral galaxy).

Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 21:20, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Most interesting that "Universe" is excluded. Naturally, there are many suns and moons and solar systems. But only one Universe that we know of. I would ask, as well, do we consider our Universe to be a "celestial body"? DeistCosmos (talk) 21:49, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes, it is interesting - fortunately, we have the NASA Style Guide to help us along imo - and use the lower-case for "universe" (ie, "Do not capitalize solar system and universe.") - as does NASA - thanks in any regards - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 22:38, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

BRIEF Followup - seems Wiktionary uses the lower-case version of "universe" and designates the capitalized version as "dated or religious" - hope this helps in some way - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 22:58, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

If that's what you're worried about, I assure you that I will personally initiate move discussions for those two articles as soon as this one ends. Deor (talk) 23:46, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
And I assure you that I cannot support a move in the wrong direction, overall. DeistCosmos (talk) 23:55, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

ALSO - The Oxford Dictionary uses the lower-case of "universe" as follows:

Copied from the => Oxford Dictionary


noun (the universe) all existing matter and space considered as a whole; the cosmos. The universe is believed to be at least 10 billion light years in diameter and contains a vast number of galaxies; it has been expanding since its creation in the Big Bang about 13 billion years ago.

Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 00:30, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

ALSO - The Encyclopedia Britannica uses the lower-case of "universe" as follows:

Copied from the => Encyclopedia Britannica


the whole cosmic system of matter and energy of which Earth, and therefore the human race, is a part. Humanity has traveled a long road since societies imagined Earth, the Sun, and the Moon as the main objects of creation, with the rest of the universe being formed almost as an afterthought. Today it is known that Earth is only a small ball of rock in a space of unimaginable vastness and that the birth of the solar system was probably only one event among many that occurred against the backdrop of an already mature universe.

Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 00:45, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

OVERALL - NASA, WIKTIONARY, OXFORD DICTIONARY and ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA *ALL* use the lower-case version of "universe" - seems clear to me at the moment - in any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 00:58, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Oppose – The universe is generally not capitalized. --Article editor (talk) 03:43, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose or be tolerant - Merriam-Webster also uses lowercase. So far, if you feel the need to be "consistent", the sources agree that it is lowercase.
I don't see the need to change anything, R from other capitalisation is always there. Also, Wikipedia doesn't have One Style To Rule Them All. Paradoctor (talk) 05:03, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Per Dior, I think we should rather decapitalize "Universe" in the two titles that got it wrong. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 16:02, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Requested move aftershock[edit]

And what, then, if there is no support for "decapitalizing" the other two? Are we not then left with a foolish inconsistency? This is awry. DeistCosmos (talk) 02:10, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

You did not provide a reason why "consistency" is required. I provided a reason why it can be accepted. Maybe Wikipedia:I_just_don't_like_it#Title_discussions is helpful? Paradoctor (talk) 04:27, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
It hardly makes sense to deem the proposed new title to be the "wrong" title when other pages already sit at this "wrong" title. Their existence invalidates the claims upon which this request was rejected by all who contended that there was but one right way. DeistCosmos (talk) 04:53, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

FWIW - if "consistency" is truly a concern, it's *entirely* ok with me to rename the two articles - to be consistent with the consensus view (of lower-case "universe") as discussed earlier - ie, "Shape of the Universe" can be renamed "Shape of the universe" and "God becomes the Universe" can be renamed "God becomes the universe" instead - an administrator may be needed to delete the related Redirect pages first - to make room for the renaming move - in any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 17:01, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

I'd support moving Shape of the Universe to Shape of the universe. I don't know about God becomes the Universe; it seems like a philosophical view of the universe, not a physical one, so I'm not sure if consistency applies. But a move would still be OK. --Article editor (talk) 17:47, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Brief Followup - Thanks for your comments - yes, I agree - changing to the lower-case "universe" seems entirely ok for the "Shape of the universe" article - less so perhaps, for the "God becomes the Universe" article - although it should be noted that the lower-case "universe" is used extensively in the lede and throughout the "God becomes the Universe" article - in any regards - Thanks again - and - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 18:33, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Consistency entirely applies -- God becomes the Universe is a statement on the physical reality of our Universe, a proposition this it originates from a deity-becoming process -- and is all the more reason why the capitalization issue was wrongly addressed above. Additionally, I would add that there has been no process to support a move of either article, and in fact it has been proposed several times on that talk page to move Shape of the Universe to the lowercase, and each time this has been rejected under the determination that the capitalization of Universe is, in fact, correct (views of User:Deor and User:Aoidh expressed above notwithstanding). DeistCosmos (talk) 18:40, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
FWIW - Not everyone may believe in your stated proposition of the universe (which is scientifically untestable) and may consider other (more testable) explanations instead - one recent scientific approach may be well described in The Grand Design (book) for example, which suggests the universe came about, and operates, without the need of any God (or Gods) - in the words of the book's physicist author, Stephen Hawking, "One can't prove that God doesn't exist, but science makes God unnecessary." - and also - "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going." - perhaps this may help explain the word "universe" - with a lower-case - rather than capitalized (suggesting a more religious POV - see wiktionary:universe) - in any regards - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 20:44, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
A bit offtopic, and especially of no relation to the multiple failed attempts to rename Shape of the Universe[1][2]. DeistCosmos (talk) 20:58, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
I've initiated move requests at both Shape of the Universe and God becomes the Universe. Deor (talk) 21:14, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Age in years?[edit]

It is not at all clear whether we are using the year as the common today's calendar year. What happens to time when we move close to the singularity or near the edge? Can we define time in another consistent fashion?

The article is not for experts: they do not need it. It is for common people who are simply curious. You need to be both simple and accurate. Whole system is relativistic and the concepts of space-time-mass-energy are all mixed up, right?

In the begining, there was no earth and hence the definition of year is invalid. After the earth disappers, the definition loses reference. I am confused in the same manner about mass and energy. chami 19:37, 2 November 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ck.mitra (talkcontribs)

It uses "year" to have its common meaning (3.16 × 107 seconds, or today's calendar year). Is that confusing? It would never occur to me that year meant anything else. The parenthetical statement with the age of the universe in seconds removes any ambiguity for those who are confused. I think introducing any other meaning of year would be unnecessarily complicated (and a complication that the professional literature never gets into). —Alex (ASHill | talk | contribs) 22:30, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Sorry that I was not clear enough. In the relativisitc sense, there is something called time dilation and 1s is not 1s all the time and everywhere. If I understand correctly, 1s is different for different people and at different times. We have to mention the observer (and I do not know what else) and the time will be different for different people. Is it correct? Or, all these time dilations and space curvatures do not affect the age? Let me put it another way. Suppose I was present during the birth and today I am somewhat near the middle of the universe (whatever that may be) and the age by my clock will be same for all? Even if I am close the edge or on earth? I need to look up the twin paradox but can you be more clear.-- chami 17:07, 4 November 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ck.mitra (talkcontribs)
Like every reference I'm aware of, the age of the universe is expressed in this article in the present-day reference frame of the Earth (or, equivalently, the Sun, the Milky Way, the Local Group, or the Local Supercluster). The differences between what observers anywhere outside very local phenomena like black holes anywhere will observe are many orders of magnitude smaller than the uncertainty in the measurement of the age of the universe. —Alex (ASHill | talk | contribs) 19:54, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

The age and size of the universe[edit]

How is it possible to detect stars from 100 billion light years away if the Universe is only 13 billion years old? How can anything out there in the Universe be beyond where light traveling since the Big Bang has yet to reach? Is it possible for two objects to be become separated in space by more than the distance light could have traveled? (talk) 20:50, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

I think the opening section of Observable universe is a good discussion of this. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 20:56, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
It's not so much that anyone can detect objects that far away, cause they can't. They cant detect anything beyond our horizon of 13 billion some odd lightyears. What they instead do is try to make it sound like the observable universe is much bigger by pretending to know an equation for very distant objects. Something like "space has expanded since the light of the distant object has reached us", so the "true" distance of the object is far greater than the observed distance. Fact of the matter is, there is no literal equation to figure the true distance because the light we're receiving is so ancient it may as well be useless to begin with. We can't even know the true location of any stellar object over 100 lightyears away because people haven't been recording these facets of cosmology long enough to make predictions. In short, it's just a bunch of humbug - don't worry. (talk) 22:14, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Yep. It's that space is expanding, not that the objects are traveling. Anyway, per WP:NOTFORUM, you're best off asking at the reference desk next time. This page is for discussing improvements to the article. Thanks.   — Jess· Δ 21:58, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Age of the universe is truly unknown.[edit]

if interstellar objects are moving away from each other at an increasinly faster rate, and some even move faster than the speed of light, then that does not excplicitly or implicitly give anyone the ability to actually measure the age of the universe.

There is an extreme logical fallacy in thinking that "light hasn't existed long enough to reach us" beyond the 13 billion someodd lightyear horizon, when taking into consideration that those distant objects are racing away even faster, therefore implying that more distant light will never ever reach us - and that we can see will in fact only grow dimmer and fade out of view over time.

That is an extremely obscene leap of faith to assume the light will ever reach us with the existence of redshift measurements.

The speed of light is not tied to the age of the universe, for the speed of light was accurately measured far before the age of the universe, which solely uses the speed of light model itself. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:37, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Where is gravitational time dilation discussed in the "age of the universe"[edit]

Gravitational time dilation has been proven over and over, so if you have a change in the rate of time between the base of Empire State building and the top of the Empire State building, is the age of the universe different for the top of the Empire State Building then it is for the base of the Empire State building? I myself and not qualified to clarify this, nor do I know the answer. When we set the rate of the second, where is that rate set; sea level? Once you set the rate of the second then you get an age of the universe. Maybe the discussion of the rate of time doesn't need to be discussed on this page, but links should be created.

Katacomb (talk) 20:05, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Oldest thing in universe[edit]

It is not correct that "the universe must be at least as old as the oldest thing in it". There could be things older than the universe which have entered the universe after its creation.Royalcourtier (talk) 19:56, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ [The starting conditions are known (for example, that there was no daughter isotope present at the start, or that we know how much was there). Decay rates have always been constant. Systems were closed or isolated so that no parent or daughter isotopes were lost or added. The starting conditions are known (for example, that there was no daughter isotope present at the start, or that we know how much was there). Decay rates have always been constant. Systems were closed or isolated so that no parent or daughter isotopes were lost or added.] Check |url= scheme (help).  Missing or empty |title= (help)