The claim in the fourth paragraph that an initial condition is likely to resemble cold, empty space is most strongly ...

Aley on November 23, 2019

Explanation of Answer Choices

Can you please explain why it is not the fifth paragraph? I understood it as the third paragraph gives an explanation that the natural progression is from order to disorder so disorder is more common. Paragraph four claims that we started in order (smaller vs bigger) in-spite of it being unlikely. Paragraph 5 says even in smaller environments we can have disorder so I concluded that paragraph 5 gives credibility to the possibility that we started in order.

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SamA on November 25, 2019

Hello @Aley,

Let's keep in mind the specific statement that we need to support: "The most common initial condition is actually likely to resemble cold, empty space." You seem to understand the reasoning in paragraph 3. A low entropy condition such as a hot, dense universe is unlikely because entropy increases over time. A high entropy condition, the cold empty space, would be more common.

Paragraph 5 does not support the likelihood of a cold, empty initial condition. Rather, it demonstrates how the universe could have developed under those conditions, which Carroll and Chen had already established as more likely in paragraphs 3 and 4.

You concluded that "paragraph 5 gives credibility to the possibility that we started in order." I agree somewhat, though I would make a point to say that the "ordered" big bang sprung from a condition of disorder. Paragraph 5 shows how faint traces of energy could have sparked a big bang, even from a state of disorder. This is important, but it does not support the question at hand.