In response to Qwaider: the expansion of the Universe etc.

“I’m a little bit skeptic of expanding, static, contracting, ever expanding, accelerating expanding universe being finalized at any point. For all we know, the universe is moving, but might not necessarily be expanding. Maybe particles are moving in all directions like water in a balloon, and that we haven’t examined all possibilities yet.”

To determine the evolutionary state of the universe (expanding-contracting-static) one uses the doppler effect. Simply put the light from an object moving away from us is red shiften whereasthe light from and object moving towards us is blue shifted. So basically what is done, is that the doppler shift of distant objects is measured, and overall was found to be red shifted. i.e. on cosmological scales, the universe is expanding.

“And I don’t think relating that directly to a Quranic verse is a wise idea.”

i do agree to some degree. When performing reseacrh, ideally one should have no expectations… that is the only way one can generate unbiased (by default: reliable) results. I dont think that people active in scientific research should go around making comparisons between their science and their religion… if it is done, it is best done by someone who has studied both the science and the religion… thus will be taking the unbiased results of the scientists and seeing how they compare to the religion… otherwise you may end up committing the same mistake as Einstein… who altered his equations based on his preconceptions of the univers ;).

The expansion of the universe has been established, and was later found to be in the Quran, I figured it was a safe example to use.

3 Responses

  1. Oh my god, I’m sooooo honored with your response. That’s so nice of you to dedicate a post to help clarify the points. I’m really humbled by this gesture and thank you so much.

    Now, allow me to cast the reasons for my doubts. As we know it has been established that the universe was created during the big bang. (and my doubt still applies if this is not an established fact).

    Lets say we have few billion galaxies (only) in the Universe, and that the universe is actually in chaotic motion. There is a chance that due to the big bang the galaxies are racing away from each other. It’s also conceivable that we have checked 200 million out of the possible few billion galaxies. In other words, we have not considered all possibilities. Which means, out of the few billion galaxies studied, 200 million were found (using the doppler effect) to be moving AWAY from us. In other words, 1% of the galaxies studied are moving away. Is this a possibility? Heisenberg would agree.

    With the Quranic verses, we need to be very careful when applying it to scientific discoveries, not only in cosmology as you know, but everything.
    I found an amazing resemblance in the verse
    “والسماء و الطارق و ما ادراك ما الطارق، النجم الثاقب”
    “Oh the heavens and the Tareq (roughly knocker/thumper), and what do you know about the Tareq, the penetrating star” And the pulsars, AKA neutron stars. Which have an exotic matter that a spoonful would physically penetrate the earth due to it’s neutrality and extreme mass. Yet, I would be extra careful from these analogies. (spoonful with huge density= huge mass)

    With all that said, I would like to stress that you are the cosmologist, and I find you the best person to reliably, credibility and authoritatively make such a statement more than anyone else. And I might have not been correct in my doubt, but I can’t stop my mind from having them.

  2. First of all, cosmologists dont know everything… and I am honoured at your honour of my response to what I found to be very thought provoking questions 🙂

    I started responding in a comment, but it turned out to be so long I am typing it into a blog entry 🙂

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