The question becomes, is the Big Bang itself non-contingent. Paul Steinhardt (Professor of Science at Princeton University) and others are working on models, using deeply abstracted tools in mathematical physics (built on ideas that are extrapolations of other ideas that seem to be implied by other ideas that might be a mathematical, maybe even physical consequence of other ideas - none of which have been observed, that might possibly account for some of the things that we see.
Thanks for the quote mine Maze. You've also grossly misinterpreted mathematical terminology for layman's phrases. Theory mean two different things in scientific terms and layman's terms.
There is not now nor could there possibly be (in any remotely meaningful way) anything that qualifies as genuine evidence for these types of theories. They are somewhat elegant theories, but they are not remotely "science" - it is mathematical philosophy at best. String theory alone may one day find some evidence, but the pre-Big Bang models based on string theory are fundamentally un-empirical.
String theory is completely falsifiable. Essentially one is solving for x, if you can accept that you can find an unknown by using geometry (finding the length of a side of a triangle by using the pythagorean theorum) then you should be able to accept the findings of theoretical physics.
Furthermore, as it currently stands, those models appear to be fundamentally incompatible with current cosmological observations, hence the enormous number of non-empircally based ideas that go along with them.
Where are you getting this from because it's been clearly observed that the universe is expanding in exact conjunction with the big bang model.
And, the Ekpyrotic/Cyclic models that they are working on end up positing extraordinarily complicated mathematical "entities", or "bulks" (fancy word for bigger universes) that require a tremendous number of non-trivial assumptions that are based on nothing other than "to make it work out".
Please give an example of these non-trivial assumptions because mathematics is even more cut-throat than science is. For a paper to be a peer-reviewed accepted study it must undergo the scrutiny of millions of mathemeticians.
So sure, you can hold out for one of these theories. But you don't get to pretend that you're sticking with empirical or scientific ideas. You're at least as religious as any hyper fundamentalist in any religion.
Ah the science is a religion argument, made completely invalid by the fact all science and math is falsifiable. Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean that it does not work out or make sense.
I am a theist because I believe it provides the greatest metaphysical explanatory power with the fewest non-trivial assumptions. I feel that naturalism, while a plausible and logically consistent worldview, ultimately runs into too many difficulties to be taken seriously.
Yes it's the most plausable, we have never oberserved a being outside of our natural realm yet we are to believe he exists. We have never observed anything without a beginning yet we are to believe he exists. We have never seen anything created ex-nilo yet we are to believe the entire universe came to be in such a way. These are few non-trivial assumptions, you are assuming that something you have never seen or even can come up with the mathematical equation to explain exists and not just exists but has done something that we have never seen or have a mathematical equation for. Sure, very plausable and logically consistent.
If one insists on holding out for a scientific answer, then you will never find the answer. Any proposed explanation for the origin of the universe will be metaphysical and outside the reach of empirical science, whether it is theism, a string derived model, or turtles all the way down.
Again Law of Conservation of energy, it's not outside the reach of empirical science. Matter cannot be created nor destroyed, therefore it has always been in existence even if it's in it's energy form (Theory of Relativity).