The Big Bang is about to collapse catastrophically, and that's a good thing
March 30, 2015 (BoingBoing.net) -- First postulated in 1931, the Big Bang has been the standard theory of the origin and structure of the universe for 50 years. In my opinion, (the opinion of a TV comedy writer, stripper and bar bouncer who does physics on the side) the Big Bang is about to collapse catastrophically, and that's a good thing.
According to Big Bang theory, the universe exploded into existence from basically nothing 13.7-something billion years ago. But we're at the beginning of a wave of discoveries of stuff that's older than 13.7 billion years.
For instance, there's SDSS J0100+2802, a quasar containing a black hole with a mass of 12 billion suns that's only 900 million years younger than the Big Bang. Black holes take a long time to accumulate mass, and 900 million years probably isn't enough. Astronomers have discovered more than 200,000 quasars, and with improving search techniques allowing them look closer and closer to the Big Bang, they'll find more of these highly developed quasars – the cosmic equivalent of 42-year-old strippers who are somehow only as old as toddlers when their ages are reckoned by the Big Bang.
Then we have dust made out of heavy elements in a galaxy that's only 700 million years younger than the Big Bang. Heavy elements form as stars near the ends of their life cycles, which are generally many billions of years long. So that's some fast-forming dust.
And the younger universe is wired like a humongous brain.