Fifty years ago scientists debated whether the steady-state theory or the big-bang theory correctly modeled the universe. The steady-state theory argued for an eternally-existing universe with matter continually being created to form galaxies, stars, planets, and people. According to the big-bang theory, the universe was finite in size. It had a definite beginning (the "big-bang") and a definite end (the "big-whimper" or the "big-crunch," depending on whether it expanded forever or collapsed in on itself).

The big-bang theory was conclusively proven with the discovery of the cosmic background radiation and the cosmic redshift of galaxies and quasars. Moreover there was not enough matter in the universe to close it. It would expand until its ultimate heat-death far in the future. The steady-state theory became just another discarded theory. A has-been.

Or was it?

With the emergence of the multiverse theory, the landscape changed. Our universe became one of an infinite number of universes, all existing in the great cosmic soup of space. Imagine a pot of water. When brought to a boil, bubbles form, expand, and then pop. Ripples on the water spread out, growing fainter until all is calm once again. This basically describes the multiverse, an infinite vacuum of space with universes periodically erupting and dissipating into the void. It is the steady-state theory of the universe reborn, but on an infinitely larger scale.

Rather humbling, I should say. Could it be that we (our universe) is just a bubble in a pot, a bubble that, when it appears, is a signal to some cosmic entity that the time has come to toss in the ingredients for the evening meal?