To combat the idea that the universe had a beginning meaning that people would have to consider the probability of a designer or a ‘transcendent cause’, some scientists have been working on alternatives to the Big Bang. So here are a couple of the most commonly known/accepted alternatives:

- Sagan’s Oscillating Model
- no absolute beginning – the universe expands and collapses in a cycle
- but… a certain density is needed to generate enough gravity to ‘crunch’ and our universe simply isn’t that dense
- it also contradicts known laws of physics

- Hawking’s view
- the idea of a singularity or point of beginning is eliminated
- he sees it more like this:
- however, we encounter a philosophical error by assuming that having a beginning means having a beginning point – there is still a finite past
- he also substitutes imaginary numbers into his equations (multiples of √-1)
- this turns time into a dimension of space but when you want real, physical answers, you need to convert them to real numbers but by doing that you get a singularity!
- so this theory seems to fall flat on its face and Hawking recognises that it’s not a realistic description but he says it’s a mathematical model of the universe in a way that a singularity does not appear.

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