The Horizon Problem
Many people point out the "light travel-time problem" in the Creationist worldview, yet don't know that the Big Bang has a light travel-time problem of its own. This, perhaps more than anything, is the reason why the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB, see last issue for more information) is no help for the Big Bang theorist. To get set up, let's have a quick review of the CMB. The CMB is an extremely uniform microwave radiation at about 2.7 Kelvin that is present everywhere in the known universe.
Assuming the Big Bang, the temperature of the CMB would have been very different throughout the universe early in its existence due to the Big Bang's initial conditions. But how would these areas come to temperature equilibrium as we see in the CMB today? Well, areas that were in close contact would come to the same temperature relatively quickly. More distant regions of space would come to temperature equilibrium through radiation transfer (light). Light would carry the energy from warmer regions of space to the colder ones until each reached equilibrium, thus creating the observed CMB. So what is the problem?
Even given the Big Bang time scale of billions and billions of years, there has not been enough time for light to traverse the vast reaches of space from one edge of the universe to the other and exchange heat. Yet, everywhere we look in the cosmos, we see the incredibly uniform CMB temperature of 2.7 Kelvin. While the Big Bang's time scale allows for light from the distant galaxies to earth, it does not allow for the light from distant galaxies to travel from one edge of the visible universe to the other and exchange heat. Therefore the CMB could not be the same temperature everywhere. Yet, it is. Below is a commonly used simple illustration of the problem.
Frame 1) Points A and B would be at very different temperatures near the beginning of the Big Bang.
Frame 2) In the present, both points A and B have the same temperature, though not enough time has elapsed for them to have exchanged light.
This is essentially a light travel-time problem. It is a temperature problem, but due to light travel-time. There has not been enough time, even in the Big Bang model, for light to travel the entire distance of the universe to make the CMB uniform. Thus, Big Bangers shouldn't use the "distant starlight problem" in an effort to discredit Scripture when their own assertion has the same problem. Both the Big Bang and Creation theories need light to get somewhere faster than it can as measured by today's standards. But does either side have an explanation? This will be discussed later.
The Monopole Problem
Another big problem for the Big Bang is the Monopole Problem. But what are monopoles? Well, in physics, there are particles that have only a positive or negative charge (ex. electrons are only negative, protons are only positive). In that same way, magnets have north and south poles, which are called magnetic monopoles.
At hot enough temperatures (such as in the Big Bang), physics says magnetic monopoles should be created. Yet, not one monopole has been found. Following this observation, it suggests that the universe was never as hot as the Big Bang model asserts. The Big Bang model desperately needs to explain how light can traverse such distances in such a short time, as well as explain an apparent lack of monopoles. Does it offer such an explanation, or simply another set of assumptions? This will be discussed in the next post.