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Hawking’s idea that the universe had no beginning is still alive, on life support

This image represents the evolution of the Universe, starting with the Big Bang. The red arrow marks the flow of time.
Big Bang/NASA

A recent challenge divides cosmologists:

In their 2017 paper, published in Physical Review Letters, Turok and his co-authors approached Hartle and Hawking’s no-boundary proposal with new mathematical techniques that, in their view, make its predictions much more concrete than before. “We discovered that it just failed miserably,” Turok said. “It was just not possible quantum mechanically for a universe to start in the way they imagined.” The trio checked their math and queried their underlying assumptions before going public, but “unfortunately,” Turok said, “it just seemed to be inescapable that the Hartle-Hawking proposal was a disaster.”

The paper ignited a controversy. Other experts mounted a vigorous defense of the no-boundary idea and a rebuttal of Turok and colleagues’ reasoning. “We disagree with his technical arguments,” said Thomas Hertog, a physicist at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium who closely collaborated with Hawking for the last 20 years of the latter’s life. “But more fundamentally, we disagree also with his definition, his framework, his choice of principles. And that’s the more interesting discussion.”

After two years of sparring, the groups have traced their technical disagreement to differing beliefs about how nature works.

Natalie Wolchover, “Physicists Debate Hawking’s Idea That the Universe Had No Beginning” at Quanta

They all hate the Big Bang. No one’s found a way to kill it.

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See also: The Big Bang: Put simply. the facts are wrong.

"new mathematical techniques" "checked their math" Math is not science. It is only the LANGUAGE of science. It is quite possible to speak nonsense, even in math. "“But more fundamentally, we disagree also with his definition, his framework, his choice of principles." IOW it comes down to a choice of religion: what you choose to believe. SmartAZ

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