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A Beginning?

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#1 oldtimer

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 08:42 PM

Do you believe the universe ( little 'u' or big 'U')) had to have a beginning??



#2 TikiTom

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 09:01 PM

to me?

yes, of course....



#3 Jim R

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 09:08 PM

Don't know. Which came first, big bang or re-collapse to a tiny singularity? Only to start all over again? What came first?

#4 oldtimer

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 09:08 PM

Tom;

 

And your reason is?



#5 bobzeq25

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 09:19 PM

Data clearly shows that, at one time, the universe (small u) was tiny, and composed of energy, with no matter possible, because it was too hot.  By any reasonable standard, that's a beginning.  It was followed by expansion, cooling, the formation of matter, of stars and galaxies.  So, the pure energy state was the beginning of those. 

 

It was a ridiculously small fraction of a second after t=0.  The time where we don't know what existed.  It's very likely we never will.

 

Minor point.  Science these days is often no longer a matter of experiment.  We can't do some of them, even in theory.  Cosmology is like that, and perhaps string theory.  It's a matter of examining the present state of affairs, and inferring what happened previously, or the underlying structure of reality.  We cannot duplicate the beginning of the universe.  We likely cannot prove string theory.  The fact that we can't is not proof of anything, other than our own limitations.

 

Scientists who can't cope with the change have either left science, or have transitioned to a field where proof by experiment is still possible.  Most cosmologists and string theorists have simply accepted the new state of affairs.


Edited by bobzeq25, 19 February 2021 - 09:28 PM.

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#6 oldtimer

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 09:30 PM

Are you saying that energy was the beginning of the universe? ...and the energy came from where?



#7 Barlowbill

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 09:31 PM

No!  I do not believe that you can suppose that man's ideas of "time". and space for that matter, necessarily correspond to what has or has not happened.  I have much faith in what science/scientists have figured out however we don't really know if it is accurate.  My simple mind tells me that there can be no "nothing".  As in, there was nothing then there was the Big Bang.  Doesn't make sense.  Conversely, how can you not have a beginning?  Beats me!


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#8 oldtimer

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 07:31 AM

A good read 'A Universe from Nothing' by Lawerence M. Krauss PHD an internationally known theoretical physicist.



#9 bobzeq25

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 12:08 PM

A good read 'A Universe from Nothing' by Lawerence M. Krauss PHD an internationally known theoretical physicist.

I agree that it's a good read, but note that...

 

Like many taking that approach, he comes across as pushing the idea it's the _only_ one that matches the data.  Which is just not true.

 

The main alternative is on the list of topics not to be discussed on CN.  I happen to think the jury is still out on what happened at t=0.  It's my training as a scientist, there is simply insufficient data on which to decide.  The data only takes us back to a small fraction of a second _after_ t=0. 

 

Good quote by a thoughtful and equally qualified cosmologist.

 

"The Big Bang theory (he's referring to the Big Bang theory that's been proven by data) says nothing about what banged, how it banged, or why it banged."


Edited by bobzeq25, 20 February 2021 - 12:12 PM.


#10 endless-sky

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 01:40 PM

To me, since every "after" has to have a "before", there can't ever be a point where I would be satisfied as to what counts as a beginning. If at t=0 everything was energy, before it started to get converted into matter, what happened before the energy was there to begin with? Who put it there? Where did it come from? And before that? And before that before?

 

We could argue that time "started" along with space, but something or someone had to generate that energy. And before that? It's an endless cycle, to which - unfortunately and most likely - we will never get an answer for. Unless faith, which one might or might not have.



#11 sg6

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 02:55 PM

Have to first get out of the idea that we actually know, or know it all. The theory arose in 1927,and the now commonname was applied in the 50's - by Fred Hoyle who didn't like the idea and gave it a simplistic name to make fun of the idea - which caught on and stuck.

 

Presently the theory fits many of the observations and measurements we can make. As ever it is the beginning where we fail, and somewhat miserably. And as said "Presently the theory fits ....".

 

The fun of most theories is they answer say 80% of the questions, not quite the remaining 20% and open up 200-300% more questions.

 

What was before 0 time: Well more 0, why not. Have you considered that 0 is itself a concept. It didn't exist in Eurpoean culture until around the 12 centuary and first examples are around 4000 years ago. It appears apparently in Mayan culture apparently around 350AD. So zero is pretty new.  What is 0, zero?

 

What is wrong with a start 13.8 billion years ago, and a start from nothing. Getting your head around it is likely the problem and that is because we think somewhat restrictedly.

 

Have you read the BillP post that there is no "gravity" and so no force of gravity and no gravitational attraction. And it is correct. And the theory of that came out just over 100 years ago and has been proven correct - still people tak of Gravity however. Almost 100% are unwilling to let go of an old comfortable theory/idea, even if incorrect.



#12 Chuck Conner

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 08:43 PM

Thinking of all the trillions of years this and maybe other universes that might have come and gone, it's not much of  a stretch to believe there might exsist many time capsules floating around in space from other advanced and maybe now extinct civilisations???  Who knows, we may have seen many already and named them comet, asteroid, or scout and watched them go by....


Edited by Chuck Conner, 20 February 2021 - 09:00 PM.


#13 BillP

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 11:34 PM

Trying to conceptualize something that had no beginning is completely outside human experience or understanding.  We are born into a world where everything has a beginning, so only understandable that our theories follow that paradigm because it stays within the box of our existence.  Impossible really to think outside the box since nothing outside the box invades what is inside the box so it will forever remain a conjectural mystery with no foundation.

 

Do I believe the universe had a beginning?  Yes.  But the interesting question for me is "what" gave birth to the universe?  And what gave birth to whatever gave birth to the universe, etc.  Since the concept of something without a beginning has no basis in any experiential reality there is no way to wrap the mind around a definitive conceptualization of something like that and can only have "faith" if I want to commit to something outside the box.  Best anyone could do is imagine what it might be like, which can never get close to the reality.  The whole reason for that adage "the proof of the pudding is in the eating".  You will never have a correct understanding of whether the pudding is good or bad or even what pudding tastes like until you eat it and it enters your experience.  Conceptualization is like simulation, gives one a course idea but is no where near the reality of it (as any pilot about simulation vs. flying, or shadow boxing vs. actually boxing, etc., etc.).

 

So yes, I believe the universe had a beginning.  Is it of any use for anything if I or they are correct to believe that it had a beginning or did not?  No.  And they will never know if what they believe is correct or not.  Debating how many angels can dance on a pin is a similarly useful pondering lol.gif  Might as well be a dog chasing one's tail, at least in that one gets some useful exercise.

 

Good post!!


Edited by BillP, 20 February 2021 - 11:40 PM.


#14 Keith Rivich

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 11:04 AM

Are you saying that energy was the beginning of the universe? ...and the energy came from where?

Science isn't capable of answering that question just yet.

 

It's all informed opinion at the moment...


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#15 oldtimer

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 10:43 AM

Best quote from Dr. Krauss's boo    "... as to the question of first cause. A simple answer is, of course, that either empty space or the more fundamental nothingness from which empty space may have arisen, preexisted, and is eternal.".



#16 oldtimer

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 10:55 AM

Aristotle suggested that there are no first causes, or rather that causes indeed go backward (and forward) infinitely far in all directions. There is no beginning, no creation, no end. 



#17 DaveC2042

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 05:25 PM

Science isn't capable of answering that question just yet.

It's all informed opinion at the moment...


Some cosmologist (I forget who) put it that the universe is one of those things that just happen from time to time.
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#18 CygnuS

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 10:21 PM

Best quote from Dr. Krauss's boo    "... as to the question of first cause. A simple answer is, of course, that either empty space or the more fundamental nothingness from which empty space may have arisen, preexisted, and is eternal.".

This Krauss guy can't seem to make up his mind. The title of of his book is "A Universe From Nothing" but then he tells us that there is no such thing as nothing. I read the book and he spends most of it explaining. what the nothingness is. If it can be described then how could it be nothing? If it can't be described then it is nonsense.. There had to have been the potential, probability or possibility for a Universe to come into existence. None of those 3 things is nothing in scientific terms. I started a thread on this book awhile ago as I recall. 



#19 Voyager 3

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 01:38 AM

Some cosmologist (I forget who) put it that the universe is one of those things that just happen from time to time.

But " why?" Is the question .



#20 airscottdenning

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 11:51 AM

To really "get" modern cosmology, we have to unpack this question into more meta framework.

 

The singularity out there beyond the Cosmic Microwave Background shapes all of spacetime. It's not "the beginning of the universe" in the pedestrian, linear, everyday sense. It's all of time and space wrapped up so tightly in mass-energy density that the dimensions themselves lose all meaning.

 

The universe doesn't progress from past to present to future like we do. Rather it's all there across space and time, all the time. When we see the light of a distant galaxy, we write for our own small-minded convenience that "the light left there millions of years ago," but of course from the reference frame of the light itself the journey is instantaneous. The universe in all its wild complexity of process and progression is a network of simultaneity happening across billions of years and gigaparsecs.

 

Spacetime is collapsed in a singularity. Spacetime is accelerating outward from that singularity, stretching the very seconds of each minute just as surely as it stretches the very nanometers of your molecules. 

 

It's tough to grasp, but it's beautiful!



#21 Keith Rivich

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 07:27 PM

But " why?" Is the question .

Chance? 

 

A gazillion universes formed and failed before our stable universe came along and stole all the available "universe making" energy.



#22 CygnuS

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 10:57 PM

Chance? 

 

 

That's another good candidate but it's still not nothing. Poor Dr. Krauss. His book was an epic fail because he strayed too far from science and made it toxic with his philosophies. 



#23 oldtimer

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 10:58 PM

Actually not 'philosophies' but hypotheses.



#24 Voyager 3

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 09:49 AM

Chance? 

 

A gazillion universes formed and failed before our stable universe came along and stole all the available "universe making" energy.

Will this stage universe be the eternity ? Lots to ponder about .... ( Without any scientific data but hey , did Einstein carry out anything with satellites or telescopes ? smirk.gif



#25 CygnuS

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:48 PM

Actually not 'philosophies' but hypotheses.

Actually, they were neither. He drew conclusions that weren't accurate and/or were unprovable. I diplomatically referred to them as philosophies because discussing religion is against the terms of service. If you are really interested you could probably dig up the old thread about his book. 


Edited by CygnuS, 26 February 2021 - 02:55 PM.



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