Science: Catastrophic Beginning

The most ambitious job that astrono— mers attempt is trying to figure out how the universe was formed. Two hypotheses dominate their debates. The "continuous creation theory" (TIME, Nov. 20, 1950) holds that the universe had no beginning and will have no end. It changes locally somewhat because of the "creation" of new matter (hydrogen atoms) in space. The hydrogen draws together to form new stars and galaxies, which gradually drift apart. But except for such "details," the universe is always in a "steady state." One thousand billion years from now it will be pretty much in the same condition as...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!