God got smaller the bigger the universe got, it seems. The more man gaped in awe at the rapidly expanding size of the universe the more it was thought to be too big, too obvious to have been “created.” Modern concepts had reached new dimensions, able to explain complex gravity and parallel universes … but not love or religion.
And then it was discovered that the universe will stop expanding at some time. “Thank goodness, just in time,” the angels probably sang.
Much of the amazing facts about the expansion and eventual contraction of our universe was discovered by the impressive NASA WMAP program. The clever scientists working on the program made the most significant discoveries the world has ever seen. They also calculated that our universe is 13.7 billion years old, starting from the time of the Big Bang. Ignoring the predictions of Isaac Newton (world to end in 2060) and Nostradamus (world ends in 3786 or 3797), they calculated that another few billion years will pass before we reach the end, the Big Freeze.
The end of the universe by contraction is called the Big Crunch. But the universe could also explode into oblivion, the theory of which is called the Big Rip.
The big crunch or the big rip is perhaps some 20 billion years away. For the moment, it is more interesting to note that the NASA scientist also discovered that the universe is flat. We live on the flat piece, not the round one, in the above picture of our universe.
The scientific proof
In Predictions that missed the mark we wrote: In the 6th century BC Greek mathematician Pythagoras said that earth is round – but few agreed with him. Greek astronomer Aristarchos said in the 3rd century BC that earth revolves around the sun – but the idea was not accepted. In the 2nd century BC astronomer Erastosthenes accurately measured the distance around the earth at about 24,860 miles (40 000 km) – but nobody believed him. In the 2nd century AD Greek astronomer Ptolemy stated that earth was the center of the universe – most people believed him for the next 1 400 years.
The perfect theory
The claim that the universe is flat or when it would end is not a prediction, of course. It is a scientific calculation. It makes one wonder why there are no scientific calculations to prove that God does or does not exist.