Fred Hoyle and the Big Bang Theory Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 2 December 2016

Fred Hoyle and the Big Bang Theory

History is such a hard thing to study. The older the story gets, the tougher it is to retrieve facts and details about it. Records are prone to be destroyed and lost as time goes by. But the most demanding task of all is to determine the elements of an event that happened even before anyone could make a record of. Or even a time when no possible witness exists to tell the story to the future. The beginning of the universe is one such thing. It is impossible for someone to come up with an answer that would specifically define certain details and factors that happened thousands or millions of years ago.

Theories have been constantly formed, upgraded, and evolved to support different evidences that lead to the origin of the universe. Up to date, there are still several speculations and contrasting beliefs on how the big galaxy started, the most popular of which is the “Big Bang Theory” coined by Fred Hoyle (Silver, 2000). Fred Hoyle was a man of science. He was an astronomer, a mathematician, a novelist, and a very intelligent man. He was considered to be a clever man even during his childhood.

In fact, he was able to memorize the multiplication tables up to the multiples of 12 (12×12=144) at a young age of four. After attaining his educational degree on Mathematics and Physics, he worked in several laboratories and establishments. During the World War II, Hoyle participated in the development of the radar. He also published several studies and papers about cosmology, the galaxies, the universe, and the earth (Books and Writers, 2003). But he was very much known for being a controversialist, and for bringing the term “Big Bang” to the public.

Ironically, Fred Hoyle was not in any way a contributor to the formation of the said theory. He was also not the instigator nor the supporter of the principles. He was, in fact, opposing and discrediting it as an explanation of how the universe began. The “Big Bang” theory’s idea actually originated from a Belgian Jesuit priest, Georges Lemaitre (Silver, 2000). He suggested that: the universe started as a sphere, a “primeval atom,” about thirty times larger than the sun. (p. 455) This theory marks the beginning of a universe with a spontaneous explosion.

Unlike other scientific theories of that time, this was partly accepted by the Catholic Church due to its similarity with the Genesis story of the Bible, the coming up of something out of nothing (Books and Writers, 2003). Fred Hoyle however was not convinced. He claimed that although galaxies, stars and atom each had their own beginnings, the universe itself did not have one (Books and Writers, 2003). He continually examined the theory’s weak points and criticized it in conventions and in radio shows.

And as a way of mocking the ideas and principles of the theory, he brought up the name “Big Bang”, like a very unscientific way of explaining the universe’s origin. The name was probably used to link the theory to something funny and not serious. However, after a few years, the hypothesis of an origin from an explosion became a standard scientific paradigm, and was since then always referred to as the “Big Bang” theory.


Silver, B. L. (2000). The ascent of science. New York: Oxford University Press Books and Writers. (2003). Sir Fred Hoyle. Retrieved May 08, 2008, from http://www. kirjasto. sci. fi/hoyle. htm

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