If there's one thing a layperson knows about the physical universe, it's the idea of a Big Bang. Also called the inflation model of cosmology, consensus holds it as the most viable explanation for the origin of everything.

However, many scientists think the idea of a single colossal explosion of light doesn't hold up to snuff for a theory of universal origin. Part of this is because science is an evidence-based empirical process of amassing knowledge of the objective world, which means accepted theories will always go where the evidence points.

Current estimates for the age of the universe places it at about 13.8 billion years, with homo sapiens (us) showing up a mere 200,000 years ago. After building a fire and inventing civilization, it took us until 100 years ago to theorize the Big Bang. But while evidence supports the Big Bang model while also casting doubt on rival theories, a new model may someday arise capable of besting consensus.

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