One of the most difficult question philosophy desperately tries to answer; is to account for the existence of the universe. To account for existence. Mankind has pondered over this question for ages. Some atheists claim that the concept God was invented to explain this question. Some theist on the other hand claim that God is the only possible and plausible answer. Worthy enough subject for a separate page I think.
The big bang theory, is a theory in physics that explains how the universe evolved from it's primitive state up to it's current. It does not explain how the universe originated, or what caused it to exist. It simply explains how the universe behaved after it originated! People often ask, if God created everything, what created God? Well big bang has the same problem, if big bang turned the universe into what it is today, what created the big bang? You see the game can be played at both sides. At least I never propose that believing in God answers this question. That's a strawman argument some might use. Some on the other hand do claim that big bang solves the question of beginning of existence, while it obviously does not either. So big bang does not serve as an alternative for not believing in God. In fact the Qur'an even describes the beginning of the universe, and it's constant expansion in a similar way. Either way, lets review some of the theories of big bang.
When Newton formulated his gravitational theories, he encountered a big problem. Up until then, it was believed in the west that the universe was created in a steady state, and that it hasn't changed all that much since it's creation. But if that was true, how come gravity hasn't made all the planets and stars collapse into each other? For some time people attempted to save the the steady state idea by proposing theories with antagonistic forces or fixed ethers. But then in 1929 Edwin Hubble discovered that all the planets are slowly moving away from us, and each other. It doesn't take a genius to wind back the clock and suggest that all originated from the same spot. So, what send the planets and stars on their current course moving away from somewhere? Well it must have been something big and something with a lot of bang in it.
In the early theories of big bang, cosmologists suggested a very huge collection of matter exploded. But as science progresses, the amount seems to be growing smaller, until recently suggestions have been made of big bang being originated from a singularity. A singularity is point with enormous mass all condensed, to fit that single point. It's a black hole that collapsed. It could be a physicists worst nightmare, or his wet dream at the same time. See in in the world of the very big, calculating the courses of stars and galaxies, gravity is sufficient. The other 3 physical forces are to small to have any affect on that level. In the world of the very small on the other hand, the electromagnetic-; the weak-; and the strong-force rule, whereas gravity has little to say, since small particles don't carry enough weight, to be more accurate: mass. Now in a singularity, where there's a lot of mass, in a very small region, both the 3 forces of quantum mechanics and gravity apply, and we're not quite sure what that would give. One thing's certain: we're totally clueless, as to why the singularity would have exploded, or what would have origenated the singularity in the first place.
Now none of this has actually solved the dilemma of existence. Has the universe always existed, or did it originate at some point. Soon after the Big bang theory came the Big crunch theory. If the expansion of the universe slows down in the future, and the universe has enough mass, it could implode back. It wasn't long until people then suggested an infinite series of explosions and implosions following up on each other.
According to science, there is a conservation of energy within any closed system. This means the total amount of energy in a closed system always stays the same. No new energy is created, or no old destroyed. The only changes that occur, is that energy is changed from one form to another. The first problem with the big bang/ big crunch theory, is that such wouldn't necessaryly be a closed system, and hence if even the slightest amount of energy would escape from each "big crunch", over an infinite number of times the universe would be void of any energy at all. So it is impossible for an infinite numbers of big bangs to have preceded us, unless it can be guaranteed that all energy of the universe is kept at each big crunch.
But even in a closed system, entropy still rains on that parade. Entropy still forbids a universe going back infinitely. Entropy is a conventional term scientists thought up to refer to the state of energy. I already explained how in a closed system no energy is created or destroyed and that the only changes that occur, is that energy is changed from one form to another. However, certain of such transformations are a one-way street. When energy has gone into a state that it cannot turn back from (spontaneously) then we say that it's entropy has increased. If there had already passed an infinite amount of time, then it would be expected that all entropy would already have been maximised.
Then the standardized theory made us rethink what space-time-continuum is. As a materialistic construct, time and space itself would have originated from the big bang themselves. Then Big bang would be the cause of the beginning of time, rather then occurring at the beginning of time! So again, infinity hardly seems an alternative solution to account for the existence of our universe.
Or what about our banging membranes? Many scientists suggested they have existed forever to. But there's a big problem with that suggestion to. These membranes, didn't they contain space-time? So how can a membrane be "infinite over time" when a membrane doesn't even have time? Well it has time in the sense that it contains a temporal dimension within it. But it doesn't have time in the sense that it is not contained by our temporal dimension. A bit like the layers of time paradox I talked about on the four-dimensionalism page.
after all these theories, we still have to face the facts that big bang was such a monstrous and devastating event that we can find little if any evidence of what went before it. It's all speculation. Whether the universe existed eternally before it, or just two seconds, we wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Any guess is just as reliable as the next.
Next to that, Big bang creating time itself brings another problem. It suggest an initial movement and change which is independent of time and space. A type of movement which is thus very different of the movements in time and space we witness every day. So big bang by itself cannot be seen as an explanation for the beginning of the universe. Big bang is what happened right after the universe originated. So in conclusion I would say: The little we know does not in any way contradict or even compete with the idea of the universe being created.
The Baum-Frampton model solves the issue of entropy in the cyclic model. It does so by suggesting that at the end of a cycle, the universe is split in small "causal patches". Which don't contain any matter. This allows for drastic decrease of entropy. Each of these small patches then contracts to a separate universe leading to an infinite multi-verse.
While I grant that indeed, it solves the issue of entropy reducing at each cycle; it does so by drastically reducing the total amount of energy within the (our) universe. This isn't really solving the issue but rather shifting it. Sure entropy is by-passed, but with a decrease of total energy at every cycle. Under these conditions the cyclic model doesn't hold philosophically either. This model seems to be forgetting the obvious relation between the amount of energy in a closed system and entropy. Entropy is only meaningful for a set amount of energy in the first place.
To illustrate this; our universe appears to have a finite amount of energy. So in order to make the theory work. Supporters must choose between: