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How can the universe have existed forever?

PeacefulChaos
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5/22/2015 10:53:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
There exist theories that propose the universe has existed forever. As an example, perhaps the Big Bang is a cyclical event, with the universe contracting and exploding (I do not know if this is a "valid" or recognized theory or not).

What I cannot understand, however, is how the universe (as we know it) could have existed ... forever. It does not make any sense for the physical reality to contain such infinitely existing entities (I use this for lack of a better word), does it?

If the universe has existed forever (i.e. there never was a starting point), how could we ever reach this point in time? How could we ever reach any point in time? It would be incomprehensible to progress or regress in time, since there never was a starting point and there will never be an ending point.

Of course, if the universe existed in a different state or form with different laws, then maybe there could be something that I could make sense of (e.g. there was no time before the Big Bang, so time is not an impeding factor).

Any thoughts?
RuvDraba
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5/22/2015 11:45:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/22/2015 10:53:09 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
What I cannot understand, however, is how the universe (as we know it) could have existed ... forever. It does not make any sense for the physical reality to contain such infinitely existing entities (I use this for lack of a better word), does it?

PC, prior to the Big Bang theory of cosmogenesis, the most popular theory was that the universe was in a steady state: that there was a fixed amount (possibly infinite) of matter, energy and space, and all it could ever do is move, transform and rearrange itself, time without end.

Such a theory was consistent with other observed behaviours: conservation of mass, energy, momentum, angular momentum. So it had the appeal of simplicity and symmetry.

Since time can only be measured as relative change, we could imagine a symmetric amount of change from any present moment, going forward and backward, as far as you look. The only way to ask a question about how such a universe came to be would be from outside the universe -- if there is an outside.

But by definition, anything that can exhibit behaviour to us is part of the universe. So the question of when the universe began would never be meaningful or answerable by anyone within the universe.

(The same is true by the way, with a universe that has a beginning. It can make sense to talk about anything after something exists, but the first instant isn't meaningful.)

I hope that helps. :)
dee-em
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5/23/2015 8:03:25 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/22/2015 10:53:09 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
There exist theories that propose the universe has existed forever. As an example, perhaps the Big Bang is a cyclical event, with the universe contracting and exploding (I do not know if this is a "valid" or recognized theory or not).

What I cannot understand, however, is how the universe (as we know it) could have existed ... forever. It does not make any sense for the physical reality to contain such infinitely existing entities (I use this for lack of a better word), does it?

If the universe has existed forever (i.e. there never was a starting point), how could we ever reach this point in time? How could we ever reach any point in time? It would be incomprehensible to progress or regress in time, since there never was a starting point and there will never be an ending point.

Of course, if the universe existed in a different state or form with different laws, then maybe there could be something that I could make sense of (e.g. there was no time before the Big Bang, so time is not an impeding factor).

Any thoughts?

I tend to agree about infinities. They're an abomination. If we are in one of an infinite number of cycles, then there have been an infinite number before ours. An infinity cannot be traversed so that is an incoherent idea.
Envisage
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5/23/2015 8:43:18 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/22/2015 10:53:09 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
There exist theories that propose the universe has existed forever. As an example, perhaps the Big Bang is a cyclical event, with the universe contracting and exploding (I do not know if this is a "valid" or recognized theory or not).

Well, it would not be regarded as a theory, since it doesn't fulfil the scientific criteria of a scientific theory (big bang theory for example is a genuine scientific theory, and inflationary theory is borderline) it would be regarded as a plausible hypothesis however.

What I cannot understand, however, is how the universe (as we know it) could have existed ... forever. It does not make any sense for the physical reality to contain such infinitely existing entities (I use this for lack of a better word), does it?

If the universe has existed forever (i.e. there never was a starting point), how could we ever reach this point in time? How could we ever reach any point in time? It would be incomprehensible to progress or regress in time, since there never was a starting point and there will never be an ending point.

Because the very notion of "reaching" requires the universe to behave as we see it, which is false. Virtually all scientific theories for example actually postulate a complete static universe, and the passage of time is thus just an illusion. Thus if the universe was infinitely old in the past, then we never 'reached' now, instead we just subjectively perceive 'now'. All points in time would actually be equally real.

Furthermore, the very question of "how do I reach.." presupposes there is a beginning (and hence a non-eternal universe), which is false if an eternal universe is true. Thus it is actually your question that is logically incoherent, rather than the concept of an eternal universe. The universe never had a start point, thus it never 'reached' the "now", the "now" would just be one slice among infinitely many slices.

Of course, if the universe existed in a different state or form with different laws, then maybe there could be something that I could make sense of (e.g. there was no time before the Big Bang, so time is not an impeding factor).

"no time before the big bang" makes no sense.
R0b1Billion
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5/23/2015 9:28:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The answer to such questions, in which all alternatives seem nonsensical, is that we are asking the wrong questions; we are making faulty assumptions without catching them. In this case, I believe the faulty assumption is that time has some fundamental significance, when it almost certainly does not. One way of thinking of it is that time is only a dimension of this universe, and there are other universes or higher structures which are timeless. Another way of getting around this problem is to think of time as an illusion; I've seen plenty of evidence that matter and space are illusions, so why not time? What is likely happening is that, as conscious beings, we exist fundamentally in a universe that exists as a dimensionless point, and we are stretching it out for our own enjoyment. We stretch out 186,000 miles of space for every one second of time. But in the most fundamental sense, all matter exists on the same point; that distant quasar, 13 billion LY away in the telescope is actually closer to you than the telescope is. There is all sorts of evidence for this...
Beliefs in a nutshell:
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Kyle_the_Heretic
Posts: 748
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5/23/2015 10:14:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/22/2015 10:53:09 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
There exist theories that propose the universe has existed forever. As an example, perhaps the Big Bang is a cyclical event, with the universe contracting and exploding (I do not know if this is a "valid" or recognized theory or not).

What I cannot understand, however, is how the universe (as we know it) could have existed ... forever. It does not make any sense for the physical reality to contain such infinitely existing entities (I use this for lack of a better word), does it?

If the universe has existed forever (i.e. there never was a starting point), how could we ever reach this point in time? How could we ever reach any point in time? It would be incomprehensible to progress or regress in time, since there never was a starting point and there will never be an ending point.

Of course, if the universe existed in a different state or form with different laws, then maybe there could be something that I could make sense of (e.g. there was no time before the Big Bang, so time is not an impeding factor).

Any thoughts?

I must confess an extreme ignorance when it comes to science. I read a book about infinity with all its problems and paradoxes, and understood about 1% of it. So all I can offer is what I believe to be common sense.

If it is true that energy can be neither created or destroyed, then it would have to follow that it is infinite, making existence infinite. The universe is contained by the infinite, so it would be a part of infinity however subject to change it may be.
Thinking is extremely taxing on the gullible, and it takes hours to clear the smoke.
ISuckAtThis
Posts: 1
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5/23/2015 10:43:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/22/2015 10:53:09 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
There exist theories that propose the universe has existed forever. As an example, perhaps the Big Bang is a cyclical event, with the universe contracting and exploding (I do not know if this is a "valid" or recognized theory or not).

Are you talking about the Big Bounce model?
dee-em
Posts: 6,456
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5/24/2015 10:02:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/23/2015 10:14:31 PM, Kyle_the_Heretic wrote:
At 5/22/2015 10:53:09 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
There exist theories that propose the universe has existed forever. As an example, perhaps the Big Bang is a cyclical event, with the universe contracting and exploding (I do not know if this is a "valid" or recognized theory or not).

What I cannot understand, however, is how the universe (as we know it) could have existed ... forever. It does not make any sense for the physical reality to contain such infinitely existing entities (I use this for lack of a better word), does it?

If the universe has existed forever (i.e. there never was a starting point), how could we ever reach this point in time? How could we ever reach any point in time? It would be incomprehensible to progress or regress in time, since there never was a starting point and there will never be an ending point.

Of course, if the universe existed in a different state or form with different laws, then maybe there could be something that I could make sense of (e.g. there was no time before the Big Bang, so time is not an impeding factor).

Any thoughts?

I must confess an extreme ignorance when it comes to science. I read a book about infinity with all its problems and paradoxes, and understood about 1% of it. So all I can offer is what I believe to be common sense.

If it is true that energy can be neither created or destroyed, then it would have to follow that it is infinite, making existence infinite.

I don't see how that follows. It is thought that the universe contains a finite amount of energy/matter. Energy/matter may not be able to be created but it can be borrowed and paid back as long as the sum total is zero. In the zero-energy universe model, the total amount of energy in the universe is exactly zero: its amount of positive energy in the form of matter is exactly canceled out by its negative energy in the form of gravity.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Of course it begs the question. How did this borrowing to make our universe initiate?

The universe is contained by the infinite, so it would be a part of infinity however subject to change it may be.
Kyle_the_Heretic
Posts: 748
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5/24/2015 12:07:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/24/2015 10:02:36 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/23/2015 10:14:31 PM, Kyle_the_Heretic wrote:
At 5/22/2015 10:53:09 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
There exist theories that propose the universe has existed forever. As an example, perhaps the Big Bang is a cyclical event, with the universe contracting and exploding (I do not know if this is a "valid" or recognized theory or not).

What I cannot understand, however, is how the universe (as we know it) could have existed ... forever. It does not make any sense for the physical reality to contain such infinitely existing entities (I use this for lack of a better word), does it?

If the universe has existed forever (i.e. there never was a starting point), how could we ever reach this point in time? How could we ever reach any point in time? It would be incomprehensible to progress or regress in time, since there never was a starting point and there will never be an ending point.

Of course, if the universe existed in a different state or form with different laws, then maybe there could be something that I could make sense of (e.g. there was no time before the Big Bang, so time is not an impeding factor).

Any thoughts?

I must confess an extreme ignorance when it comes to science. I read a book about infinity with all its problems and paradoxes, and understood about 1% of it. So all I can offer is what I believe to be common sense.

If it is true that energy can be neither created or destroyed, then it would have to follow that it is infinite, making existence infinite.

I don't see how that follows. It is thought that the universe contains a finite amount of energy/matter. Energy/matter may not be able to be created but it can be borrowed and paid back as long as the sum total is zero. In the zero-energy universe model, the total amount of energy in the universe is exactly zero: its amount of positive energy in the form of matter is exactly canceled out by its negative energy in the form of gravity.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Of course it begs the question. How did this borrowing to make our universe initiate?

The universe is contained by the infinite, so it would be a part of infinity however subject to change it may be.

Knowing very little about a zero-energy universe, I googled up several blogs and papers on the subject and grasped very little but learned that it is a controversial subject:

"I don't think most physicists in fact agree that the total energy of the universe is zero."

"...admittedly speculative hypothesis..."

Several of those sites claimed that zero-energy fails to cancel out infinite matter and energy.

As such, due to my ignorance of science, what I believe to be common sense may very well be complete nonsense, but from what I just read, it may yet be simple common sense.
Thinking is extremely taxing on the gullible, and it takes hours to clear the smoke.
dee-em
Posts: 6,456
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5/24/2015 8:58:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/24/2015 12:07:26 PM, Kyle_the_Heretic wrote:
At 5/24/2015 10:02:36 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/23/2015 10:14:31 PM, Kyle_the_Heretic wrote:
At 5/22/2015 10:53:09 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
There exist theories that propose the universe has existed forever. As an example, perhaps the Big Bang is a cyclical event, with the universe contracting and exploding (I do not know if this is a "valid" or recognized theory or not).

What I cannot understand, however, is how the universe (as we know it) could have existed ... forever. It does not make any sense for the physical reality to contain such infinitely existing entities (I use this for lack of a better word), does it?

If the universe has existed forever (i.e. there never was a starting point), how could we ever reach this point in time? How could we ever reach any point in time? It would be incomprehensible to progress or regress in time, since there never was a starting point and there will never be an ending point.

Of course, if the universe existed in a different state or form with different laws, then maybe there could be something that I could make sense of (e.g. there was no time before the Big Bang, so time is not an impeding factor).

Any thoughts?

I must confess an extreme ignorance when it comes to science. I read a book about infinity with all its problems and paradoxes, and understood about 1% of it. So all I can offer is what I believe to be common sense.

If it is true that energy can be neither created or destroyed, then it would have to follow that it is infinite, making existence infinite.

I don't see how that follows. It is thought that the universe contains a finite amount of energy/matter. Energy/matter may not be able to be created but it can be borrowed and paid back as long as the sum total is zero. In the zero-energy universe model, the total amount of energy in the universe is exactly zero: its amount of positive energy in the form of matter is exactly canceled out by its negative energy in the form of gravity.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Of course it begs the question. How did this borrowing to make our universe initiate?

The universe is contained by the infinite, so it would be a part of infinity however subject to change it may be.

Knowing very little about a zero-energy universe, I googled up several blogs and papers on the subject and grasped very little but learned that it is a controversial subject:

"I don't think most physicists in fact agree that the total energy of the universe is zero."

"...admittedly speculative hypothesis..."

Several of those sites claimed that zero-energy fails to cancel out infinite matter and energy.

Well, everything about the origin of the universe is in the realm of speculation at this stage. You still seem to be assuming an infinite universe. That seems to be where the evidence is leading but it depends on the topology of the univese. (If the universe is closed --- space-time is curved like a sphere --- then this woud allow a finite universe. The verdict is not in yet). A zero-energy universe requires a flat topology, so a spatially infinite universe is most likely.

As to the cancelling out of infinite energy/matter, it seems to me that you would also have infinite negative energy in the form of gravity. Would two infinites cancel each other out? I'm out of my league with that as I don't think you can play such games with infinities. However greater minds than mine (eg. Hawking) seem to accept this.

Berkeley Lab, Smoot Group - http://aether.lbl.gov... - Inflation for Beginners, JOHN GRIBBIN "Quantum uncertainty allows the temporary creation of bubbles of energy, or pairs of particles (such as electron-positron pairs) out of nothing, provided that they disappear in a short time. The less energy is involved, the longer the bubble can exist. Curiously, the energy in a gravitational field is negative, while the energy locked up in matter is positive. If the Universe is exactly flat, then as Tryon pointed out the two numbers cancel out, and the overall energy of the Universe is precisely zero. In that case, the quantum rules allow it to last forever." archived, 2014

As such, due to my ignorance of science, what I believe to be common sense may very well be complete nonsense, but from what I just read, it may yet be simple common sense.
PeacefulChaos
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5/24/2015 9:11:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/23/2015 8:43:18 AM, Envisage wrote:

Because the very notion of "reaching" requires the universe to behave as we see it, which is false. Virtually all scientific theories for example actually postulate a complete static universe, and the passage of time is thus just an illusion. Thus if the universe was infinitely old in the past, then we never 'reached' now, instead we just subjectively perceive 'now'. All points in time would actually be equally real.

Furthermore, the very question of "how do I reach.." presupposes there is a beginning (and hence a non-eternal universe), which is false if an eternal universe is true. Thus it is actually your question that is logically incoherent, rather than the concept of an eternal universe. The universe never had a start point, thus it never 'reached' the "now", the "now" would just be one slice among infinitely many slices.

Then how can we experience "now"? When did humans come into being in this infinity? Shouldn't it be impossible for life to have ever come into being, since "coming into being" or "reaching" would be a logically incoherent idea, as you have said so? Nothing would ever happen, since something happening would be logically incoherent due to an infinite past.


"no time before the big bang" makes no sense.

Why not? The Big Bang theory itself seems to state that time had a finite beginning.

I also recall reading about an experiment that stated time is a result of quantum entanglement, which fits in nicely with this idea that the time has had a finite beginning.
PeacefulChaos
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5/24/2015 9:15:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/22/2015 11:45:45 PM, RuvDraba wrote:

Since time can only be measured as relative change, we could imagine a symmetric amount of change from any present moment, going forward and backward, as far as you look. The only way to ask a question about how such a universe came to be would be from outside the universe -- if there is an outside.

Yes, that's why this is rather frustrating to think about, since time could only be measured relative to where we are now, since there is an infinite past and (maybe) an infinite future.


But by definition, anything that can exhibit behaviour to us is part of the universe. So the question of when the universe began would never be meaningful or answerable by anyone within the universe.

I guess we're like the universe reflecting on itself, trying to figure out how it came into being, since we're part of it. Perhaps not an accurate way of thinking about it, but it's interesting at least.


(The same is true by the way, with a universe that has a beginning. It can make sense to talk about anything after something exists, but the first instant isn't meaningful.)

I hope that helps. :)

A little, thanks.
PeacefulChaos
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5/24/2015 9:17:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/23/2015 10:43:18 PM, ISuckAtThis wrote:
At 5/22/2015 10:53:09 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
There exist theories that propose the universe has existed forever. As an example, perhaps the Big Bang is a cyclical event, with the universe contracting and exploding (I do not know if this is a "valid" or recognized theory or not).

Are you talking about the Big Bounce model?

I didn't really read into the Big Bounce model, I just quickly skimmed something about it, but it sounds similar to this idea of contraction and expansion, yes. Perhaps that is what I'm referring to.
PeacefulChaos
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5/24/2015 9:23:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/24/2015 8:58:45 PM, dee-em wrote:

As to the cancelling out of infinite energy/matter, it seems to me that you would also have infinite negative energy in the form of gravity. Would two infinites cancel each other out? I'm out of my league with that as I don't think you can play such games with infinities. However greater minds than mine (eg. Hawking) seem to accept this.

Infinity minus infinity = indeterminate. It could equal any value. So I suppose they could cancel out ... or they could equal any other value that exists, depending on the nature of the infinities.
RuvDraba
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5/24/2015 9:25:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/24/2015 9:15:10 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 5/22/2015 11:45:45 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Since time can only be measured as relative change, we could imagine a symmetric amount of change from any present moment, going forward and backward, as far as you look. The only way to ask a question about how such a universe came to be would be from outside the universe -- if there is an outside.
Yes, that's why this is rather frustrating to think about, since time could only be measured relative to where we are now, since there is an infinite past and (maybe) an infinite future.

You don't have to think of it as infinite, PC. Think of it as bigger than every person who ever existed could possibly explore. Moreover, even if it is infinite, it doesn't necessarily contain an infinite history. Bear in mind that in moving and transforming, matter can destroy the record of its own past. So a universe of unbounded past might nevertheless contain only finite records, requiring us to make plausible inferences about a past that we cannot prove.

With such a history we might plausibly infer that the universe has an unbounded past and is in a steady state, but we couldn't necessarily prove it. Other counter-theories would be entertainable, if not themselves provable either.

I guess we're like the universe reflecting on itself, trying to figure out how it came into being, since we're part of it. Perhaps not an accurate way of thinking about it, but it's interesting at least.
Yes, and our capacity to source and process information is always limited. So for every plausible theory about really large and complex systems, there are always plausible alternative counter-theories, though not every counter-theory will be held equally plausible, and some may not be thought plausible at all.

This is a reality of cosmology, no matter which theory we entertain.
Envisage
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5/24/2015 9:35:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/24/2015 9:11:29 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 5/23/2015 8:43:18 AM, Envisage wrote:

Because the very notion of "reaching" requires the universe to behave as we see it, which is false. Virtually all scientific theories for example actually postulate a complete static universe, and the passage of time is thus just an illusion. Thus if the universe was infinitely old in the past, then we never 'reached' now, instead we just subjectively perceive 'now'. All points in time would actually be equally real.

Furthermore, the very question of "how do I reach.." presupposes there is a beginning (and hence a non-eternal universe), which is false if an eternal universe is true. Thus it is actually your question that is logically incoherent, rather than the concept of an eternal universe. The universe never had a start point, thus it never 'reached' the "now", the "now" would just be one slice among infinitely many slices.

Then how can we experience "now"? When did humans come into being in this infinity? Shouldn't it be impossible for life to have ever come into being, since "coming into being" or "reaching" would be a logically incoherent idea, as you have said so? Nothing would ever happen, since something happening would be logically incoherent due to an infinite past.

Because it is a conceptual problem, rather than an ontological problem. It's because of our first-person perspective in the world, and the fact that there exists entropy, that we have a subjective experience of the "passage of time". Thus, things only 'happen' because 'we' experience movement through one of the axis.

For example, if you take a simply x,y graph with a straight line of y=x on it, then it would appear to you to be static, nothing happens. However, if you were a point on that line, and that point has only a local subjective experience, then there would appear to be local change with movement along the x axis.

Similarly, an eternal universe would be like a complete graph, with nothing happening when you look at it externally. However for a subject internally, it would appear to be in motion.

One. The funny 'wtf' moments in physics was the derivation of the Wheeler-de Whitt equation, which unites some elements of QM with general relativity. It predicted a completely static universe (since time coherent played no role in its evolution).


"no time before the big bang" makes no sense.

Why not? The Big Bang theory itself seems to state that time had a finite beginning.

Because 'before' presupposes time, and you already stated there is no time. A contradiction in terms.

I also recall reading about an experiment that stated time is a result of quantum entanglement, which fits in nicely with this idea that the time has had a finite beginning.

How so? Maybe provide a citation. In general relativity, time having a 'beginning' makes no sense, since the Big Bang is akin to the 'edge of a sphere', since space and time are a single 'fabric', hence the Big Bang would be just where all out-going lines curve and meet.

If science tells us anything, it tells us that we really can't be using everyday language to talk about time as an ontology. Stephen Hawking for example put it something along the lines of 'asking what is before the Big Bang is like what is asking what is North of the North pole'. The Earth surely doesn't 'begin' it's 'northness' at the North Pole anymore than time 'begins' its temporality at the Big Bang.
Kyle_the_Heretic
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5/24/2015 10:13:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/24/2015 8:58:45 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/24/2015 12:07:26 PM, Kyle_the_Heretic wrote:
At 5/24/2015 10:02:36 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/23/2015 10:14:31 PM, Kyle_the_Heretic wrote:
At 5/22/2015 10:53:09 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
There exist theories that propose the universe has existed forever. As an example, perhaps the Big Bang is a cyclical event, with the universe contracting and exploding (I do not know if this is a "valid" or recognized theory or not).

What I cannot understand, however, is how the universe (as we know it) could have existed ... forever. It does not make any sense for the physical reality to contain such infinitely existing entities (I use this for lack of a better word), does it?

If the universe has existed forever (i.e. there never was a starting point), how could we ever reach this point in time? How could we ever reach any point in time? It would be incomprehensible to progress or regress in time, since there never was a starting point and there will never be an ending point.

Of course, if the universe existed in a different state or form with different laws, then maybe there could be something that I could make sense of (e.g. there was no time before the Big Bang, so time is not an impeding factor).

Any thoughts?

I must confess an extreme ignorance when it comes to science. I read a book about infinity with all its problems and paradoxes, and understood about 1% of it. So all I can offer is what I believe to be common sense.

If it is true that energy can be neither created or destroyed, then it would have to follow that it is infinite, making existence infinite.

I don't see how that follows. It is thought that the universe contains a finite amount of energy/matter. Energy/matter may not be able to be created but it can be borrowed and paid back as long as the sum total is zero. In the zero-energy universe model, the total amount of energy in the universe is exactly zero: its amount of positive energy in the form of matter is exactly canceled out by its negative energy in the form of gravity.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Of course it begs the question. How did this borrowing to make our universe initiate?

The universe is contained by the infinite, so it would be a part of infinity however subject to change it may be.

Knowing very little about a zero-energy universe, I googled up several blogs and papers on the subject and grasped very little but learned that it is a controversial subject:

"I don't think most physicists in fact agree that the total energy of the universe is zero."

"...admittedly speculative hypothesis..."

Several of those sites claimed that zero-energy fails to cancel out infinite matter and energy.

Well, everything about the origin of the universe is in the realm of speculation at this stage. You still seem to be assuming an infinite universe. That seems to be where the evidence is leading but it depends on the topology of the univese. (If the universe is closed --- space-time is curved like a sphere --- then this woud allow a finite universe. The verdict is not in yet). A zero-energy universe requires a flat topology, so a spatially infinite universe is most likely.

As to the cancelling out of infinite energy/matter, it seems to me that you would also have infinite negative energy in the form of gravity. Would two infinites cancel each other out? I'm out of my league with that as I don't think you can play such games with infinities. However greater minds than mine (eg. Hawking) seem to accept this.

Berkeley Lab, Smoot Group - http://aether.lbl.gov... - Inflation for Beginners, JOHN GRIBBIN "Quantum uncertainty allows the temporary creation of bubbles of energy, or pairs of particles (such as electron-positron pairs) out of nothing, provided that they disappear in a short time. The less energy is involved, the longer the bubble can exist. Curiously, the energy in a gravitational field is negative, while the energy locked up in matter is positive. If the Universe is exactly flat, then as Tryon pointed out the two numbers cancel out, and the overall energy of the Universe is precisely zero. In that case, the quantum rules allow it to last forever." archived, 2014

As such, due to my ignorance of science, what I believe to be common sense may very well be complete nonsense, but from what I just read, it may yet be simple common sense.

Because I struggle so greatly with physics, I must go with what makes the most sense to me until someone is able to break through the density of my understanding, and the lights finally turn on. Sadly, going with what makes the most sense to me instead of what may work best scientifically, I could be going in the opposite direction of what is correct. But that's all I can do in ignorance. But the more I read, the more I realize that I'm not alone, even among the most learned. Still, the most learned have the advantage, so when I'm completely lost, I tend to grab hold of their lab coats and hang on until they're moving way to fast for me to keep up.
Thinking is extremely taxing on the gullible, and it takes hours to clear the smoke.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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5/26/2015 2:07:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/26/2015 11:49:46 AM, janesix wrote:
If it is a torus shaped universe, then it is continuously beginning and ending at the same time, forever.
https://www.youtube.com...

I can't speak to the physics, Jane -- beyond noting that there are toroidal models in cosmology -- but thanks for posting a very pretty and fascinating model. :)
janesix
Posts: 3,446
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5/26/2015 2:13:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/26/2015 2:07:43 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 5/26/2015 11:49:46 AM, janesix wrote:
If it is a torus shaped universe, then it is continuously beginning and ending at the same time, forever.
https://www.youtube.com...

I can't speak to the physics, Jane -- beyond noting that there are toroidal models in cosmology -- but thanks for posting a very pretty and fascinating model. :)

From what I've read, the physics doesn't necessarily point to a torus-shaped universe, but it doesn't exclude it either. I like the idea though, it makes more sense than things suddenly coming into existence. For me anyway.
Furyan5
Posts: 1,228
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5/26/2015 3:03:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/24/2015 10:02:36 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/23/2015 10:14:31 PM, Kyle_the_Heretic wrote:
At 5/22/2015 10:53:09 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
There exist theories that propose the universe has existed forever. As an example, perhaps the Big Bang is a cyclical event, with the universe contracting and exploding (I do not know if this is a "valid" or recognized theory or not).

What I cannot understand, however, is how the universe (as we know it) could have existed ... forever. It does not make any sense for the physical reality to contain such infinitely existing entities (I use this for lack of a better word), does it?

If the universe has existed forever (i.e. there never was a starting point), how could we ever reach this point in time? How could we ever reach any point in time? It would be incomprehensible to progress or regress in time, since there never was a starting point and there will never be an ending point.

Of course, if the universe existed in a different state or form with different laws, then maybe there could be something that I could make sense of (e.g. there was no time before the Big Bang, so time is not an impeding factor).

Any thoughts?

I must confess an extreme ignorance when it comes to science. I read a book about infinity with all its problems and paradoxes, and understood about 1% of it. So all I can offer is what I believe to be common sense.

If it is true that energy can be neither created or destroyed, then it would have to follow that it is infinite, making existence infinite.

I don't see how that follows. It is thought that the universe contains a finite amount of energy/matter. Energy/matter may not be able to be created but it can be borrowed and paid back as long as the sum total is zero. In the zero-energy universe model, the total amount of energy in the universe is exactly zero: its amount of positive energy in the form of matter is exactly canceled out by its negative energy in the form of gravity.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Of course it begs the question. How did this borrowing to make our universe initiate?

Every reaction has a equal and opposite reaction. To create life, something had to die.
What was there before the universe was created?

The universe is contained by the infinite, so it would be a part of infinity however subject to change it may be.
Furyan5
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5/26/2015 3:06:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/24/2015 10:13:27 PM, Kyle_the_Heretic wrote:
At 5/24/2015 8:58:45 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/24/2015 12:07:26 PM, Kyle_the_Heretic wrote:
At 5/24/2015 10:02:36 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/23/2015 10:14:31 PM, Kyle_the_Heretic wrote:
At 5/22/2015 10:53:09 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
There exist theories that propose the universe has existed forever. As an example, perhaps the Big Bang is a cyclical event, with the universe contracting and exploding (I do not know if this is a "valid" or recognized theory or not).

What I cannot understand, however, is how the universe (as we know it) could have existed ... forever. It does not make any sense for the physical reality to contain such infinitely existing entities (I use this for lack of a better word), does it?

If the universe has existed forever (i.e. there never was a starting point), how could we ever reach this point in time? How could we ever reach any point in time? It would be incomprehensible to progress or regress in time, since there never was a starting point and there will never be an ending point.

Of course, if the universe existed in a different state or form with different laws, then maybe there could be something that I could make sense of (e.g. there was no time before the Big Bang, so time is not an impeding factor).

Any thoughts?

I must confess an extreme ignorance when it comes to science. I read a book about infinity with all its problems and paradoxes, and understood about 1% of it. So all I can offer is what I believe to be common sense.

If it is true that energy can be neither created or destroyed, then it would have to follow that it is infinite, making existence infinite.

I don't see how that follows. It is thought that the universe contains a finite amount of energy/matter. Energy/matter may not be able to be created but it can be borrowed and paid back as long as the sum total is zero. In the zero-energy universe model, the total amount of energy in the universe is exactly zero: its amount of positive energy in the form of matter is exactly canceled out by its negative energy in the form of gravity.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Of course it begs the question. How did this borrowing to make our universe initiate?

The universe is contained by the infinite, so it would be a part of infinity however subject to change it may be.

Knowing very little about a zero-energy universe, I googled up several blogs and papers on the subject and grasped very little but learned that it is a controversial subject:

"I don't think most physicists in fact agree that the total energy of the universe is zero."

"...admittedly speculative hypothesis..."

Several of those sites claimed that zero-energy fails to cancel out infinite matter and energy.

Well, everything about the origin of the universe is in the realm of speculation at this stage. You still seem to be assuming an infinite universe. That seems to be where the evidence is leading but it depends on the topology of the univese. (If the universe is closed --- space-time is curved like a sphere --- then this woud allow a finite universe. The verdict is not in yet). A zero-energy universe requires a flat topology, so a spatially infinite universe is most likely.

As to the cancelling out of infinite energy/matter, it seems to me that you would also have infinite negative energy in the form of gravity. Would two infinites cancel each other out? I'm out of my league with that as I don't think you can play such games with infinities. However greater minds than mine (eg. Hawking) seem to accept this.

Berkeley Lab, Smoot Group - http://aether.lbl.gov... - Inflation for Beginners, JOHN GRIBBIN "Quantum uncertainty allows the temporary creation of bubbles of energy, or pairs of particles (such as electron-positron pairs) out of nothing, provided that they disappear in a short time. The less energy is involved, the longer the bubble can exist. Curiously, the energy in a gravitational field is negative, while the energy locked up in matter is positive. If the Universe is exactly flat, then as Tryon pointed out the two numbers cancel out, and the overall energy of the Universe is precisely zero. In that case, the quantum rules allow it to last forever." archived, 2014

As such, due to my ignorance of science, what I believe to be common sense may very well be complete nonsense, but from what I just read, it may yet be simple common sense.

Because I struggle so greatly with physics, I must go with what makes the most sense to me until someone is able to break through the density of my understanding, and the lights finally turn on. Sadly, going with what makes the most sense to me instead of what may work best scientifically, I could be going in the opposite direction of what is correct. But that's all I can do in ignorance. But the more I read, the more I realize that I'm not alone, even among the most learned. Still, the most learned have the advantage, so when I'm completely lost, I tend to grab hold of their lab coats and hang on until they're moving way to fast for me to keep up.

Let go. They going the wrong way.
slo1
Posts: 4,322
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5/26/2015 3:16:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/24/2015 10:02:36 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/23/2015 10:14:31 PM, Kyle_the_Heretic wrote:
At 5/22/2015 10:53:09 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
There exist theories that propose the universe has existed forever. As an example, perhaps the Big Bang is a cyclical event, with the universe contracting and exploding (I do not know if this is a "valid" or recognized theory or not).

What I cannot understand, however, is how the universe (as we know it) could have existed ... forever. It does not make any sense for the physical reality to contain such infinitely existing entities (I use this for lack of a better word), does it?

If the universe has existed forever (i.e. there never was a starting point), how could we ever reach this point in time? How could we ever reach any point in time? It would be incomprehensible to progress or regress in time, since there never was a starting point and there will never be an ending point.

Of course, if the universe existed in a different state or form with different laws, then maybe there could be something that I could make sense of (e.g. there was no time before the Big Bang, so time is not an impeding factor).

Any thoughts?

I must confess an extreme ignorance when it comes to science. I read a book about infinity with all its problems and paradoxes, and understood about 1% of it. So all I can offer is what I believe to be common sense.

If it is true that energy can be neither created or destroyed, then it would have to follow that it is infinite, making existence infinite.

I don't see how that follows. It is thought that the universe contains a finite amount of energy/matter. Energy/matter may not be able to be created but it can be borrowed and paid back as long as the sum total is zero. In the zero-energy universe model, the total amount of energy in the universe is exactly zero: its amount of positive energy in the form of matter is exactly canceled out by its negative energy in the form of gravity.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Of course it begs the question. How did this borrowing to make our universe initiate?

Secondly, after started why didn't it just reset back to zero. AKA: How did matter become dominant versus just annihilating with an anti-matter particle?

The universe is contained by the infinite, so it would be a part of infinity however subject to change it may be.
Saint_of_Me
Posts: 2,402
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5/26/2015 5:25:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
You are used to thinking of Time as a sort of linear, non-physical entity. That is, simply the "passing of events." Comprised of a past, a present, and a future.

Instead, you must realize that Time is actually a physical entity, and is a vital and tangible part of the Space-Time Continuum. Or STC. It is enmeshed into it and does not exist outside of it.

Here"s a metaphor that might help you wrap your head around this notion"..
You know those bubble-blowing kits that kids play with? They have a handheld ring that is dunked into soapy water before you blow across it? Thus forming a bubble? Well"think of this bubble as the Universe coming into existence with the advent of the Big Bang. And then, you have noticed that these bubbles have a bluish/purplish streak, or "film" that permeates them? Runs across them? Think of this as Time. That is, a visible representation of the STC.

See? Without the bubble there is no streak! Without the Universe"whose formation indeed has been compared to a vast Bubble. There is not "time."

Before it, there was nothing. As there will be when it ends, after the Big Crunch.
Science Flies Us to the Moon. Religion Flies us Into Skyscrapers.
debate_power
Posts: 726
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5/29/2015 4:17:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/23/2015 8:43:18 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 5/22/2015 10:53:09 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
There exist theories that propose the universe has existed forever. As an example, perhaps the Big Bang is a cyclical event, with the universe contracting and exploding (I do not know if this is a "valid" or recognized theory or not).

Well, it would not be regarded as a theory, since it doesn't fulfil the scientific criteria of a scientific theory (big bang theory for example is a genuine scientific theory, and inflationary theory is borderline) it would be regarded as a plausible hypothesis however.

What I cannot understand, however, is how the universe (as we know it) could have existed ... forever. It does not make any sense for the physical reality to contain such infinitely existing entities (I use this for lack of a better word), does it?

If the universe has existed forever (i.e. there never was a starting point), how could we ever reach this point in time? How could we ever reach any point in time? It would be incomprehensible to progress or regress in time, since there never was a starting point and there will never be an ending point.

Because the very notion of "reaching" requires the universe to behave as we see it, which is false. Virtually all scientific theories for example actually postulate a complete static universe, and the passage of time is thus just an illusion. Thus if the universe was infinitely old in the past, then we never 'reached' now, instead we just subjectively perceive 'now'. All points in time would actually be equally real.

Furthermore, the very question of "how do I reach.." presupposes there is a beginning (and hence a non-eternal universe), which is false if an eternal universe is true. Thus it is actually your question that is logically incoherent, rather than the concept of an eternal universe. The universe never had a start point, thus it never 'reached' the "now", the "now" would just be one slice among infinitely many slices.

Of course, if the universe existed in a different state or form with different laws, then maybe there could be something that I could make sense of (e.g. there was no time before the Big Bang, so time is not an impeding factor).

"no time before the big bang" makes no sense.

I agree entirely.
You can call me Mark if you like.
Saint_of_Me
Posts: 2,402
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5/30/2015 12:24:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Again...our brains are naturally hardwired to think of time as merely a non-physical entity. As linear...simply the passing of events, with a past, a present, and a future. Think of a river flowing by you while you're standing on the shore.

So with thinking like this we will never be able to wrap our heads around how time is actually a physical entity, and a part of the fabric of the Cosmos; a part of the Space-Time Continuum.

My "streak on the soap bubble" metaphor in my OP explained this fairly well, I think. But I am aware it is an over-simplified example, and falls a bit short. But for visualization and rudimentary comprehension purposes, it serves fairly well.

Again...Time began with the Big Bang. Thusly there is no need to try and discern what came before. The answer is: nothing. Nada. Zilch. LOL
Science Flies Us to the Moon. Religion Flies us Into Skyscrapers.
Furyan5
Posts: 1,228
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5/30/2015 4:49:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/30/2015 12:24:53 PM, Saint_of_Me wrote:
Again...our brains are naturally hardwired to think of time as merely a non-physical entity. As linear...simply the passing of events, with a past, a present, and a future. Think of a river flowing by you while you're standing on the shore.

So with thinking like this we will never be able to wrap our heads around how time is actually a physical entity, and a part of the fabric of the Cosmos; a part of the Space-Time Continuum.

My "streak on the soap bubble" metaphor in my OP explained this fairly well, I think. But I am aware it is an over-simplified example, and falls a bit short. But for visualization and rudimentary comprehension purposes, it serves fairly well.

Again...Time began with the Big Bang. Thusly there is no need to try and discern what came before. The answer is: nothing. Nada. Zilch. LOL

Time is concrete. It starts at the beginning and ends at the beginning. So in the perception of time, the universe has always existed, and always will. Only GOD (Hallowed be thy name) exists outside of time.
Deuterium
Posts: 1
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5/31/2015 4:57:43 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Outside this universe time might not exist as we know it, where forever is a singularity and experienced at once.
Adam_Godzilla
Posts: 2,487
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5/31/2015 10:19:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/22/2015 10:53:09 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
There exist theories that propose the universe has existed forever. As an example, perhaps the Big Bang is a cyclical event, with the universe contracting and exploding (I do not know if this is a "valid" or recognized theory or not).

What I cannot understand, however, is how the universe (as we know it) could have existed ... forever. It does not make any sense for the physical reality to contain such infinitely existing entities (I use this for lack of a better word), does it?

If the universe has existed forever (i.e. there never was a starting point), how could we ever reach this point in time? How could we ever reach any point in time? It would be incomprehensible to progress or regress in time, since there never was a starting point and there will never be an ending point.

Of course, if the universe existed in a different state or form with different laws, then maybe there could be something that I could make sense of (e.g. there was no time before the Big Bang, so time is not an impeding factor).

Any thoughts?

Well we don't even know if the universe existed forever and it is unlikely we'll get the answer in this lifetime. I don't wish to make wild assumptions to what we don't know so I tend to sit back and forget about the universe as a whole.
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