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Big Bang Irrelevant?[edit]

I wanted to get some opinions first, so I didn't edit right away. Please tell me if this makes sense; In the article's own opening words / lede;

  • Cosmogony is "any scientific theory concerning the coming into existence (or origin) of either the cosmos (or universe), or the so-called 'reality' of sentient beings."
  • Big Bang covers the "the early development of the universe", NOT the origins of the universe.

Therefore, big bang does not belong in this article.

In fact; "A common misconception is that the Big Bang provides a theory of cosmic origins. It doesn't. The Big Bang is a theory ... that delineates cosmic evolution from a split second after whatever happened to bring the universe into existence, but it says nothing at all about time zero itself." [1]

  1. ^ Greene, Brian. The Fabric of the Cosmos Vintage paperback ed., 2005, p. 272. Emphasis in original.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:30, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

To summarize the above comment: The Big Bang is irrelevant to cosmogony because it doesn't cover "time zero". Considering the "Cosmogony compared with cosmology" section, I would disagree. It is relevant to the early universe, but not before 10-43s, therefore it belongs in "Cosmogony", but shouldn't be heavily emphasized.Brad (talk) 21:44, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Yep I guess what I meant was that it shouldn't take up 2/3 (or any!) of the opening paragraphs / heading / lede section. At most it belongs perfectly fine in that "Cosmogony compared with cosmology" section, and while at it; this distinction (cause of time zero vs. development of time from planck inclusive onward) should be emphasized there too. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:56, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Theocritus' Cosmogony[edit]

I think this article should include something about cosmogonies as a literature and oral history - for example Theocritus' Cosmogony. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I agree -- Cosmogony was originally a religious/mythic concept, not scientific. Even Hesiod's Theogony is (in part) a cosmogony, to ignore many other ancient cosmological traditions important to the history of Western Civilization. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:48, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

"Pre-scientific" Genesis[edit]

(Note added 2-Jan-2003) This comment refers to an edit. In the first paragraph that explains what cosmogony is there was a reference to the Biblical book of Genesis as containing a "pre-scientific cosmogony". However, it is a cosmogony, and one that at least tens of thousands of scientists in recent years have come to affirm, using whatever set of objective criteria one wishes to use for categorizing scientists. --The only editing done was to remove the adjective "pre-scientific".

Fair enough. I put the adjective in not intending to prejudge the issue of the truth or falsity of the Genesis account, but I'm not concerned if it's removed. For the record: by 'pre-scientific' I meant 'before the advent of science', not 'incorrect according to science'. Toby 11:07, 3 Jan 2004 (UTC)


General relativity is not a GUT JeffBobFrank 20:46, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I changed "metted out" to "meted out", but it doesn't make sense to me (I checked Collins and the SOED). Isidore 23:36, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

This page is stupid. The author should be shot - A GUT is a theory that unifies those found in the Standard Model. None exist. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vugdeox (talkcontribs)

Although I don't agree with the way it was put, the previous comment has some validity, although a GUT is not as rigorously applied by physicists as that commentator put. Regardless, I have provided a major redraft of the page, because it was disjointed, and contained a lot of info that was not strictly relating to the subject matter, was unsubstantiated, or seemed to be something of a personal commentary. I am sure the person who put it there had good reasons, but the application was not well put. My edit could be improved, but time will out. I haven't added that cosmogony need not be logical. If others think this should be added, they might do so, remembering that this kind of page tends to attract the fringe, so word it reverently, perhaps. Centroyd 24th September 2004

I'm pretty sure the discussions in this page previously appeared in Social Text. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Could the Big Bang be the other side of a Black Hole when it formed?[edit]

Has anyone ever thought of this very much? I'm no scientist but have always been interested in astronomy. I always try to watch shows about space when I can and can usually understand what the astronomers, physicists, cosmologists are talking about when they are using layman terms and analogies but would struggle if I had to see all the technical stuff.

Anyway, assuming the Big Bang is real, which I lean toward, how can matter just grow out of nothing? I mean that material had to come from somewhere. To me it seems that a black hole formed in another universe and sucked the matter from that universe into this one. The amount of matter the black hole sucked in could determine the mass of the universe. I think we could determine this by finding the state of matter at the time of the big bang and when it enters a Black Hole. How similar/different are they? A black hole formed in this universe could have a new universe inside of it also. Does this seem plausible? I don't know how I can talk to Stephen Hawking or Kip Thorne so I can't ask them about it so I ask fellow wikipedians who might have an answer. MrMurph101 03:44, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

But if the black hole reached a certain weight, it would become a white dwarf, so there's no way an entire universe would be sucked into a black hole. --Scotteh 08:22, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, someone else than you had thought of this. :-) I never considered what was being said above, and if true, then it would bust a theory like this according to our current understanding of black holes. But it sure is an elegant theory; that our universe is what an "inside" of a black hole really is like. And that the big bang was simply just a point of formation of the hole. That could also imply that our universe would be one among many others in a "superuniverse". Or maybe one could theorize that it would be an infinite number of universes like this, with their own black holes forming other universes. ;-) As for "matter coming out of nothing", it has been shown that energy and matter are just two sides of the same coin. Energy can convert into matter, so it would seem that there's your explanation of this. The bigger question would really be -- where did the Big Bang gain its energy from? -- Northgrove 00:16, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
It would be an elegant theory. I don't know how it holds up but some theories that are originally scoffed at may become the dominant one :). Just like the moon origin theory. MrMurph101 00:17, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Of course, it still fails to say where the energy/matter originally came from. It just shunts the question into a conveniently inaccessible "other universe" :) GeeJo (t)(c) • 16:33, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

This only makes sense if you regard the Big Bang Theory as not falsified. Evidence exists (such as observations showing that redshifts obey a step function and are not continuous, by Halton Arp) that disproves the Big Bang ever happened. Dmacgr 22 (talk) 21:50, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Unless This Suggestion Is Completely Outside the Box Here ...[edit]

I would like to see some mention in the article of the idea that the universe is a natural self-reproducing system.

(1) This possibility is suggested by the stream of functional links that begins with the big bang:

Big bang → precursors of matter → atomic particles → atoms of the lighter elements → clouds of gasses → stars and galaxies → heavy elements → intra-galactic matter-rich clouds → later-generation stars and planets → life-bearing planets → evolutionary systems → intelligent life forms → ?

Each element in the stream functions in such a way as to lead to the appearance of the next element, and the idea that our appearance in the scheme of things provides a natural point at which the stream can be turned into a cycle (by replacing the question mark above with “new big bang”) is at least an interesting possibility. (I also actively dislike the idea that we are the only incompletely functional element in the stream – i.e., the only element with no output phase. But that’s just an aesthetic thing.)

(2) The idea of a completely natural self-reproducing universe is especially interesting because it is religiously neutral (except to religious fundamentalists): (a) The first self-reproducing universe in the stream could have appeared spontaneously by some purely natural process, or (b) it could have been created by a supernatural being. And for such a being (with an infinite amount of time on its hands and wanting a universe around to begin with), the odds are infinite that a single universe of the sort that we live in will not satisfy its eternal wants.

Thus, creating a system that just keeps going and going and going by itself instead a stream of one-shot stands would just be working smart.

So, what do you think? Does the idea belong in the article?

If so, I have always liked the name “Sapiens Hypothesis” for the idea.

If not, I will be happy to withdraw the suggestion.

Liberalpro 19:28, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Unless you have a reliable source that verifiably explains, names, and describes your idea it does not belong in Wikipedia as per Wikipedia's no original research policy. --ScienceApologist 15:25, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

external links[edit]

I see 1 external link - "Why the Universe Exists – the Short Answer". I think it is a little bit irrelevant, because what actually interests is not so much the question why, but how. (see the beginning of the article) Inyuki 06:55, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

I added an external link "Where did the Universe come from?" which leads to the "Curious about astronomy" website. While it contains mostly speculation, in my opinion, it's still more relevant than the first external link.

I agree with Inyuki. How come Wikipedia got all above itself all of a sudden. There used to be quite a few external sites. It seems that there is some 'evil genius' (Descartes - look it up) who is trying to restrict our access to a wider view. And you can't say that cosmogony is in any way set in cement. Certainly the site that is included (the others having been wiped by some deity)barely touches on cosmogony, and makes some impressive jumps. E.g. "As to where everything came from, there is no conclusive opinion. One idea was that the Universe was created from vacuum. This is because according to quantum theory, the apparently quiescent vacuum is not really empty at all." But this assumes a vacuum, it assumes the laws of quantum physics. The author, I think, was limiting him/herself to astronomical, not cosmogonical answer. So this is really not a site that should be there to the exclusion of anything else.

--Centroyd (talk) 01:40, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Silly comment[edit]

"A scientific examination of cosmogony using existing physical models would face many challenges. For example, equations used to develop models of the origin do not in themselves explain how the equations came to be in the first place."

Equations are written by humans. All a cosmogony has to do is allow intelligent sepcies to arise.1Z 02:09, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

What I meant was:

"A scientific examination of cosmogony using existing physical models would face many challenges. For example, equations used to develop models of the origin do not in themselves explain how the conditions of the universe that the equations model came to be in the first place."

Not silly, I just expected too much of the cognitive skills of my audience. Centroyd 02:43, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

hello! =) a silly little comment.[edit]

"There is some ambiguity between the two terms, for example, the cosmological argument from theology regarding the existence of God is technically an appeal to cosmogonical rather than cosmological ideas."

a god? that sounds kind of "monotheistic-centric"... isn't there a more general version that allows for gods? i feel left out... being a polytheist and all, y'know!


Perhaps you could read it as theistic rather than monotheistic? Just my silly comment, Julia Rossi (talk) 06:44, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

External link to "Why the Universe Exists"[edit]

Although I believe the editor who removed the link interpreted the Wikipedia rules correctly and acted in good faith, I have restored the link Why the Universe Exists because I believe a certain proportion of readers who arrive at the Cosmogony page and happen to follow the link will find it thought provoking and interesting. It is clear what the externally linked article is and is not, and I think those who are not interested in such unauthoritative speculation will simply click straight back to Wikipedia. I don't think the externally linked article is deliberately misleading or ill-intended and think rather that it provides useful food for thought that would be out of place in the encyclopedia proper. Please read the externally linked article and judge for yourself and act as you see fit. I have said my piece and hope I am a reasonable person, so I will not restore the link again if it is removed again.--Vibritannia (talk) 12:29, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

We're an encyclopedia. People who are looking for "Rampant speculation" can and should use Google. Thousands of of people write speculation on all sorts of subjects it is entirely inappropriate for us to link to some of it without an encyclopedic reason. -- SiobhanHansa 13:26, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes, that is a very reasonable point. I can invent one encyclopedic reason: the article begins "Cosmogony is any theory concerning the coming into existence or origin of the universe, or an origin belief about how reality came to be", and the external link is an example of one. Giving concrete examples of what you are talking about is a good thing to do. The external link is speculative, but that is the nature of cosmogonies - nobody knows for sure yet. The external link is not authoritative, but in such a speculative arena, is it even valid to talk of authoritative cosmogonies. Maybe this is just post-rationalization on my part. --Vibritannia (talk) 10:59, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

If a theory is well known and respected enough to be covered in the article, a link to it could be a great addition. But links to other theories are simply a violation of our NPOV policy. -- SiobhanHansa 16:09, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

On "Planck time limitations to cosmogony"[edit]

I definitely agree with the {{off-topic-other}} marking of the "Planck time limitations to cosmogony" section of the article; it does not seem to address in any meaningful or large manner the actual article at hand. Could someone edit it down to be more on-topic? If not, I suggest we drop that section entirely in the near future. Exerda (talk) 16:37, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

The content used to be more readable - it should not be dropped. The content of this section has been in the article for years before and after your comment. A challenge for clarification, noted in Richard Feynman Video - The Douglas Robb Memorial Lectures - Part 4: New Queries, is the absence of a model for material reality. Like the Maya who had no model, but by counting could predict; we count turns of spin to predict, likewise in the absence of a model. The real brain (who is well aware of what is unknown) who clarifies this section should remove the {{off-topic-other}} template. - (talk) 18:58, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

I guess the section was removed (too bad), but want to note that the current "Overview" section contains the sentence fragment " there is currently no theoretical model that explains the earliest moments of the universe's existence (during the Planck time)...". The Wikilinked article actually contains no mention of "THE Planck Time", though one can intuit that the first 10-43s or so is meant. Is there a better Wikilink (some subsection of the Big Bang article?) that can be linked to? I don't have time or inclination to fix this myself right now... Andyvphil (talk) 08:17, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

paradox of causation[edit]

Regarding the paradox of causation (if every event requires a cause then what caused the first event), if we imagine space as being completely filled with (possibly discrete) 'events' then, instead of saying that event A at location A was caused by event B, we can say that event A was going to happen anyway but the form that the event took was 'influenced' by event B. In this view events are not 'caused' by other events rather they are merely 'influenced' by them. The first event would therefore not require a cause. just-emery (talk) 23:41, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

If time (as a dimension) was created at the same moment as the physical dimensions of which we are aware, is there any reason that once time exists, things always will have had happened in the way that they do/did? (History would then start to exist at the same time as the present, in the manner of two ends working out from the middle. Consider time having both negative adn positive characteristics, so that one can then see the cause-effect relationship being time reversed. Apparently there is nothing much to prevent this from being so.) Just a thought from someone working on a Sunday who wants to go home.... (talk) 14:39, 20 June 2010 (UTC)Lance Tyrell
See Stephen Hawking "A Brief History of Time, CHAPTER 9: THE ARROW OF TIME [1]
I was interested to see just now that this was apparently the (one?) chapter from which I remembered Hawkins saying "the universe must be expanding at very close to the critical rate at which it would just avoid recollapse". How his argument for this is affected by the now-existing evidence that expansion is accelerating is unclear to me. Nor do I follow his argument as to why collapse might cause a change in the direction of the arrow of time, or some abrupt change in the suitability of the universe for intelligent life, although he seems to be saying he had a change of heart on this (or not - as I say I'm not following him here).
I say it's interesting to me because, if you have a universe of sufficient size and understand matter to be Schrodinger probability densities then an infinitude of time should cause an equally infinite nested series of ylems (albeit at nearly inconceivable distances in time, one from the other) as a simple application of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle). And almost all of the resulting Big Bangs that did not immediately collapse because they were too small would, the improbability curve being so steep, have just enough energy to expand at the critical rate.
This is an idea that I thought I got from Hawking, whose "Brief History" I first encountered as an audio tape. But when I later looked at the book I couldn't find it. And the idea that smaller ylems collapse is still missing...
It does solve the problem of a time boundary. That the universe exists is still a mystery, but once it exists Big Bangs reproduce without limit.
Though Hawking likes the idea of each Big Bang having its own cosmological rules and constants, which this contradicts somewhat, I still think I must have got this from him. Could it be in one edition of the book and not the other? Andyvphil (talk) 09:17, 20 March 2014 (UTC)


it seems to me odd that an article about the theories on the beginning of the world does not include theories about the beginning of the world, scientific or otherwise (though I'd imagine 'otherwise' is just 'God did it'). It's not exactly an obscure topic. (talk) 19:44, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

→I agree. I believe there is more than one scientific theory about the origin(s) of the universe. The most common one may be the Big Bang Theory, but there is strong evidence (including the quantization of red-shifts) that disprove it. More discussion is needed. Dmacgr 22 (talk) 21:45, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Actually, Big Bang is a theory about the development of the universe, not its origins. And yes, this article should not, contrary to the italicized territorial claim as to what it is about, be limited to scientific Cosmonogy. This sort of thing [[2]] is in the ambit of its title. If you want to exclude it, change the title. Andyvphil (talk) 09:29, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Cosmogony = Solar System?[edit]

From the article, at 11:17 Central Time 2009-Oct-16: "In the specialized context of space science and astronomy, the term refers to theories of creation of (and study of) the Solar System.".

I thought "cosmogony" was related to the creation of the universe, not the solar system. Am I wrong?

-Pat (talk) 16:18, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

I put in a rough fix for this obvious error. Only took 4.5 years... "cos·mog·o·ny [koz-mog-uh-nee] noun, plural cos·mog·o·nies. a theory or story of the origin and development of the universe, the solar system, or the earth-moon system. Origin: 1860–65; < Greek kosmogonía creation of the world. See cosmo-, -gony"[3] Andyvphil (talk) 09:37, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Where did the universe come from[edit]

Wikipedia is not a forum for debate. If you would like to contribute, please use sources. You may have made good points, but please cite. And to the person who linked to a Christian website refuting information in the TALK PAGE on Cosmogony on Wikipedia: don't post useless links on the discussion page. (talk) 04:08, 16 September 2010 (UTC)


Cosmogony, or cosmogeny, is any theory concerning the coming into existence or origin of the universe, or about how reality came to be.

Say consistency and inconsistency are the origin of the universe. What is true is just what is consistent. What exists is just what is true. Inconsistency we have ring-fenced as fundamental uncertainty. Uncertainty makes change logically necessary. Time is change. Therefore consistency and inconsistency are the origin of temporal existence.
Reason reflects only what is consistent. The origin of the universe is consistency and inconsistency, so that origin cannot have a reason. Since it cannot have a reason, it cannot have a cause. Therefore consistency and inconsistency are the uncaused origin of the universe.

From the same place that I pointed out before. --Vibritannia (talk) 11:01, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Dunno what your point is. If it's that "Cosmognony" is being improperly limited to scientific theories, that may be justified, but in any case that's the thrust of the article as it stands now. There was some unsourced statement about the solar system (noted in thread above) which made no sense in that established context so there may in fact be a related larger problem. (talk) 22:46, 10 January 2012 (UTC)


This article needs improvements. I changed a few of the more puffy terms to more neutral ones and was met with a reply that my edits were POV and I needed to come to Talk. Generally, generic statements of "Tons of people" or "Nearly everyone" are considered puffery, (See WP:PUFFERY). What is the reliable source to say that "There is vast consensus among physicists" that the Big Bang is their personal belief as to the universe's origin? Did someone do a survey of all physicists? Do we just assume this? Overgeneralizations are not good form. I changed it to the more inspecific "Physicists have" because it is true without question. If you have a specific number, or a specific set, it would also be fine, but how do you know there is this vast consensus? Do all of these physicists have the same belief about the theory? Are there competing theories? How vast are those beliefs? Is it possible to believe in more than one theory? Getting off track here, but the point is, just saying "vast consensus" is fairly vague, and nearly everyone agrees with me on that. ;) -- Avanu (talk) 14:49, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

This article is not about "personal beliefs", it's about a scientific theory (and not "theory" as you used it). The material is an accurate summary of the body of the text, which is well sourced. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 15:35, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, when the article says "vast consensus among physicists", I assume the meaning is that among the thousands of physicists there is near perfect agreement on whether each of them believes in the Big Bang as their personal understanding of cosmology. Perhaps there is a different way to view that statement? And as for how I used "theory", I didn't put it in quotes, nor did I somehow misuse it. (For example, see this story or within Wikipedia, Big Bang#Speculative physics beyond Big Bang theory). I would also like to remind you that this article is on "Cosmogony" not "Cosmology". In other words, while physicists may have a special regard for the Big Bang, it isn't necessarily the #1 theory or "theory" from a cosmogonical point of view, as such, I moved it down into a more appropriate section, and made the other puffery-related changes simply because they need to be made for style's sake. -- Avanu (talk) 16:09, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Read the article header and the first line of the lede. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 16:40, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

"so-called 'reality' of sentient beings"[edit]

What is the import of this phrase, specifically the words "so-called" and the quotation marks around the word "reality"? What sentient being would deny its reality, or have a different word for it other than "reality"?--Richardson mcphillips (talk) 04:25, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Limitations to Naturalism[edit]

The "Epistemological limitations" section seems to contain various insufficiently clear and/or unsubstantiated assertions. For example, that "some scientists" question whether naturalism can provide an explanation of the origins of the universe. For one thing, it is not clear if we are referring to (a) metaphysical naturalism (b) methodological naturalism, or (c) both, and furthermore, in what sense these aspects of naturalism constitute an honest limitation to cosmogony.

We also have the phrase "observationalists", which seems even more ambiguous. Almost any scientist could be classified as an "observationalist" in the sense of relying on empirical observations as a reliable source of knowledge about the universe, and drawing inferences upon the basis of observational consequences of experiments and theories. In fact, millions if not billions of human beings could be classified as "observationalists", as almost any reasonable layman acknowledges observation as a source of veridical knowledge.

The comments on theism seem to be an exercise in turning an article into the brazen opinions and/or bald assertions of one user or series of users. For example, stating that "Theistic explanations for origins...are often dismissed as 'God-of-gaps-type fallacies or arguments from ignorance'. This claim is not sufficiently substantiated. The claim that "such explanations tend to provide no explanations for the existence of the deity" is false. Typically, theists argue that God is eternal, and therefore it is not reasonable to ask for the origin of God. I'm not sympathetic to the theist viewpoint by any stretch of the imagination, but even I can recognize that these assertions are not sufficiently supported.

Another claim, that "quantum mechanics gives an independent motivation to challenge the principle of sufficient reason" is utterly erroneous, and bordering on nonsensical. There is nothing about the formalism of quantum theory that challenges this principle, or could even be interpreted as doing so.

It seems like someone decided to go on Wikipedia and have a field day with brazen opinions and uncorroborated assertions, to the utter detriment of the quality of the article. I would suggest that either this section be heavily revised, or simply removed altogether. — Preceding unsigned comment added by John Aiello (talkcontribs) 21:54, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Big Bang: Vast Consensus, means Majority wins[edit]

Is it because the Big Bang theory is accepted by the majority of scientists, it "wins"? Is the Big Bang theory not unscientific than any other "myth"? -Polytope4d (talk) 16:24, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

To answer your first question: yes, see scientific consensus. To answer your second question: no, see Big Bang. Since you obviously have access to Wikipedia, feel free to search for and read articles for yourself. If have more refined or specific questions in the future you might also like Wikipedia's reference desk. Cheers, Ben (talk) 01:19, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

cosmogony has nothing to do with the meaning of life[edit]

Just erased this part... science can offer an objective explanation to certain questions, but it can't give us a reason to exist, and quantum fluctuation has nothing to do with love or art, however whimsical that may sound... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:14, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Discussion of capitalization of universe[edit]

There is request for comment about capitalization of the word universe at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Capital letters#Capitalization of universe - request for comment. Please participate. SchreiberBike talk 00:33, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Notification of request for comment[edit]

An RfC has been commenced at MOSCAPS Request for comment - Capitalise universe.

Cinderella157 (talk) 03:23, 22 March 2015 (UTC)