How long did nothing live for?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by chevonegraham, May 19, 2013.

  1. chevonegraham Registered Member

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    2
    Maybe I didn't write that question well.
    But let's get to the case.

    I think the majority of us support the fact that the universe expanded from 'nothing' exponentially.
    My question is, for how long was there nothing? Maybe I'm answering my own question here, because as far as I can think of it, when there was nothing, there was no time as well? Or time as WE define it.

    I'd like to hear everyone else's views on this
     
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  3. hardalee Registered Senior Member

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    Both space AND time were started at the Big Bang, so the question has no answer or meaning as time did not exist.
     
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  5. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Obviously that opens a can of worms with the creationists, but their main concern is just the "out of nothing" part of it . They don't seem to care about any of the rest of physics or cosmology.

    The best answer is that spacetime is probably created in the Big Bang. The can be no "before" but it stands to reason there is an initial condition. I'm not sure "nothingness" is a strict requirement, but regardless of that, "nothingness" loses its meaning when time and space cease to exist (here I'm rewinding in my mind from present to t[sub]0[/sub]). For example, if we define "nothing" as the absence of "something" and we put this in the context of "spacelessness" (whatever that means) "somethingness" loses its meaning, so "nothingness" loses its meaning.

    I'm not sure about the phrase "time as we define it". Time is what it is, we are simply trapped in its tractor beam. We and everything we call the universe. It certainly begs the question of how we define the absence of spacetime. I would first note there can be no causality at t[sub]0[/sub] so a lot of this is moot, but still it raises the question what does the absence of spacetime mean?

    I think the absence of time means a state that perpetuates in stasis for eternity, that is, it is contemporaneous with each instant we call real time. If so, I'm forced to conclude that the initial condition at the onset of the Big Bang is omnipresent, that is, we are somehow forever accompanied by the absence of spacetime. For instance, suppose every particle decomposes into strings. Suppose strings turn out to be tiny black holes. Suppose their event horizons are all remnants of the timeless, spaceless condition at t[sub]0[/sub]. Such a condition serves as an example of how this might manifest itself.

    Of course it's pure speculation. One thing is clear though, no religion comes as close to providing a plausible explanation for creation as science does, and without the influence of religion in society, the question would be a lot more innocuous.
     
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  7. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    in my opinion there was no beginning, the universe is infinite in both time and scope.
    what we are observing now as the "big bang" is nothing more than localized expansion
    life itself "arose" as a direct result of the manifested infinity of the universe.
    IOW infinity itself is the "cause".
    it's always been here, it always will be.
     
  8. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    2,830
    Nothing is instantaneous time and infinite, so it depends on something to define itself from this nothing. Therefore death of each one of us or non-existence of universe is both instantaneous, meaning we never really "exist" in death, but we live on somewhere else or as something else. Same goes with universe, because nothing has no time, it might as well not define anything. The universe once it will expand will contract into one singularity just like black holes do and as soon as that happens and time ceases to exist it will exist oncemore with a big bang.
     
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    I don't think today's cosmologists agree with you. In their model, all words that have any reference to space or time are simply meaningless in the absence of the universe. Asking "what happened before the Big Bang" is just as meaningless as asking "what happens if the temperature of a bit of matter falls below absolute zero?" There's no such thing as "below absolute zero" and there's no such thing as "before the Big Bang."

    Understand that I do not necessarily agree with this statement, and that's okay because it has not yet been proven true beyond a reasonable doubt and attained the status of a scientific theory--just barely okay since I'm not a real scientist.

    I have already suggested using the following model to make sense out of this: Graph time on a log scale instead of linear. This puts the Big Bang at minus infinity. There's actually some resonance here with the current cosmological model. A lot of really important events happened very quickly during the first few yoctoseconds after the Big Bang. (One yoctosecond = 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 001 second.) Stretching that interval out graphically will surely make it easier to study, analyze and describe. The fact that the speed at which events transpire has steadily decreased since the Big Bang also makes this model useful.

    One perspective on the Big Bang relies only on the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The Law says that entropy tends to increase over time, but allows for spatially and temporally local reversals of entropy to occur, with no constraints except probability theory: small reversals will be more frequent than large ones. As far as I can tell, the Big Bang is nothing more or less than a local reversal of entropy: there was no change in the total mass and energy of the universe (zero); it was just temporarily rearranged. A rather large one, to be sure, but the Second Law places no limit on their size. Besides, who are we to decide what's a large reversal? How many other Big Bangs have occurred, so long ago and so far away that we will never have any way to detect their remnants? Perhaps ours is just a tiny one, and spacetime is indeed infinite, both spatially and temporally!

    They don't even try. They postulate the existence of a powerful creature who created the universe. Since the definition of "universe" is "everything that exists," and since any being powerful enough to perform all the acts credited to this one obviously must exist, then these dogmatic fables are bonehead examples of the Fallacy of Recursion: the Supreme Being created Himself. Duh?

    Belief in the supernatural is what Jung calls an archetype, which is an instinct pre-programmed into our synapses by our DNA as a result of evolution (using the language of genetics, which was not yet a mature science in Jung's day). It's just part of who we are. Fortunately some of us have a mutation resulting in the loss of this instinct. There's been no religion in my family since the 19th century.
     
  10. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

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    "Started" implies a action, so the question isn't meaningless at all. An action itself implies existence, so we can only assume that there was existence before space and time, we are so used to space and time that we can't imagine a existence void of that, but I think that existence is much deeper than simply the confinement of space and time. There could be existence that has no order of events, but that some configuration even in such a chaotic existence could allow for rules to be made (so that not every possibility/configuration of possibilities happens at the same time), perhaps those rules which enable utter chaos to become order is the rules we have today.

    Either way, since I don't think that the big bang created 'existence', the fundamental question is "what is existence?".
     
  11. markl323 Registered Senior Member

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    166
    if there's only one universe (ours) then yes you have answered your own question. but what if there are multiverses? each of them have their own time as well. what would happen in this case? can one Big Bang happen before another?
     

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