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Author Topic: What was before the big bang?  (Read 45292 times)

Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #50 on: 22/08/2015 19:24:22 »
IF we can define 'nothing' as an absence of 'everything', can an infinite progression of 'everything' be considered logical?

And IF so... can it be considered logical to define 'nothing' as an infinite state?

An infinite state of nothing progressing into an infinite state of everything...
 

Online Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #51 on: 22/08/2015 21:38:26 »
Quote from: Timey
IF we can define 'nothing' as an absence of 'everything', can an infinite progression of 'everything' be considered logical?

And IF so... can it be considered logical to define 'nothing' as an infinite state?

An infinite state of nothing progressing into an infinite state of everything...

Semantics, Timey, just semantics. 

How do you define anything, without defining it in terms of something?

If you try to define nothing in terms of something, you no longer have nothing to define.

Mordeth, never say I didn't offer you something to have fun with. :)
 

Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #52 on: 22/08/2015 21:58:29 »
How do you define anything, without defining it in terms of something?

Well, if it is possible to define 'everything', then to define a state of nothing as an absence of everything answers your question.

If you try to define nothing in terms of something, you no longer have nothing to define.

This just becomes a matter of defining 'absence'. :)

In any case I was just popping back to edit my post with this:

(Edit: or perhaps I could rephrase that as:  ...An infinite state of nothing infinitely progressing into a state of everything.)
 

Online Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #53 on: 22/08/2015 22:21:36 »
Quote from: Chiral
Apparently converting from zero (which is a finite number) to unlimited (infinite).

It seems I’m outnumbered, and by experts! 

However, I understand that there is no absolute agreement among mathematicians as to whether zero should be considered as a natural number.  If you define "finite" as having the cardinality of a natural number, and do not consider zero as a natural number, you are, according to this school of thought, justified in considering zero as non-finite.
« Last Edit: 22/08/2015 22:29:56 by Bill S »
 

Online Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #54 on: 22/08/2015 22:27:55 »
Quote from: Timey
Well, if it is possible to define 'everything', then to define a state of nothing as an absence of everything answers your question.

I like that, Timey, but it might be wise to leave out "a state of", or someone is bound to argue that "a state" is something.
 

Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #55 on: 22/08/2015 23:11:13 »
Quote from: Chiral
Apparently converting from zero (which is a finite number) to unlimited (infinite).

It seems I’m outnumbered, and by experts! 

However, I understand that there is no absolute agreement among mathematicians as to whether zero should be considered as a natural number.  If you define "finite" as having the cardinality of a natural number, and do not consider zero as a natural number, you are, according to this school of thought, justified in considering zero as non-finite.

Is that you attempting to wow me with mathematics Bill? :D

Just kidding... I agree that 0 is a bit strange...conceptually, it can be considered as both something and nothing.

Which...(I'm now adding, having read post above), does kind of detract from your comment concerning 'a state' of nothing, as nothing is already considered a state of something.

You could now argue that the state of nothing must also be absenced as part of everything to achieve a true state of nothing...but I think it was 'you' that mentioned semantics :) (chuckle)
 

Online Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #56 on: 22/08/2015 23:21:12 »
Quote from: Timey
Is that you attempting to wow me with mathematics Bill? :D

Far be it from me to attempt such a thing.  As a non-mathematician I enter that arena with trepidation, but I like to try to respond, even belatedly, as in this case.
 

Online Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #57 on: 22/08/2015 23:26:29 »
Quote from: Timey
...An infinite state of nothing infinitely progressing into a state of everything.

If infinity is not a number, and eternity is not a length of time, and if change requires time, how can you have any progression in infinity/eternity?
 

Offline Mordeth

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #58 on: 22/08/2015 23:37:39 »
Quote from: Mordeth
  The very definition of nothing would first have to be agreed upon,
Quote from: Bill S

“Define nothing!” = “standard cop-out”.  You are capable of better than that, Mordeth. :)
Bill,  do you believe that one can ask questions that have no translation to observations?  For example, where is infinity located? Or maybe you can ask me if the number 322 is a Marxist?     The fact is, there are meaningless questions that exist.  Perhaps it makes a person feel smart to ask them, but a true purveyor of knowledge will reject these questions as meaningless.   Your chain of reasoning, Bill, depends on the assumption of your own answer and is therefore invalid. 

And so now we derail the thread.  I will likely be contacted by the local magistrate of this forum. 

"Nothing" is simply a word, and in the context of existence itself becomes a meaningless, undefined concept. The question of non-being is self-contradictory.  Why is there something?   Do you think there is an object we can call nothing that is nothing?  If nothing is this object of nothingness, then it is not nothing, but something.   Can nothing exist?  Then it is something.  Is non-existence a concept in your mind?   A concept is something, not nothing.  Is nothing a non-existent state and therefore a state and therefore something?  Is nothing the void?   The void is something.   Can you displace nothing?  Can it be measured?   What are the attributes of nothing?  Say them, and we shall label it something.   The very act of defining nothing, makes it something.  To contemplate non-existence implies existence, so nothing is a non-existent idea in our minds.  As an idea, it is something.    How about we say <THIS> is something and <THAT> is nothing.  Well, <THAT> nothing is now something.

See where this goes?  Do you have a sufficient, satisfactory answer to why there is something rather than nothing?  I tell you that there is none.  The question itself is absurd.   The question of nothing is itself a fallacious question, as you cannot appeal to nothingness without appealing to something.    These questions are meaningless, and need not be answered.   

Quote from: Mordeth
a) It is possible that the Universe is finite in time and "our" Big Bang is the beggining of everything (The Universe).  In this scenario, there was no cause (see #2 above) and all of time truly started here.
Quote from: bill S
I read this and I understand it.  I have no objection to the first sentence, but the statement “there was no cause” assumes knowledge outside that which you have identified as time.  You would need to justify that assumption.
Bill, I defined the Universe as all that exists.  If time is finite and the Universe began at some point in the past, by definition there was no cause - as the Universe is all that exists, so what could cause it?  So no, you do not understand it.  The assumption of no cause is justified by the definition of the Universe.  The logic is valid, therefore if you accept the premise you must accept the conclusion, or it is YOU who are committing the fallacy.
 

Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #59 on: 22/08/2015 23:46:41 »
Quote from: Timey
Is that you attempting to wow me with mathematics Bill? :D

Far be it from me to attempt such a thing.  As a non-mathematician I enter that arena with trepidation, but I like to try to respond, even belatedly, as in this case.

Awww Bill...that was indeed, under the circumstances of a 0, just a joke. :).  Myself, I struggle with the maths but can understand what's occurring when the concepts behind them are explained.  I guess some people just don't have a flair for the notation.  You have my sympathy, and hey...nice to speak with you!

Aha, but I see there is more... :)

Quote from: Timey
...An infinite state of nothing infinitely progressing into a state of everything.

If infinity is not a number, and eternity is not a length of time, and if change requires time, how can you have any progression in infinity/eternity?

Ok then clever clogs, how's about:

An infinite state of nothing progressed into a state of everything infinitely...

???
 

Online Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #60 on: 23/08/2015 00:58:17 »
Quote from: Mordeth
"Nothing" is simply a word, and in the context of existence itself becomes a meaningless, undefined concept. The question of non-being is self-contradictory.  Why is there something?   Do you think there is an object we can call nothing that is nothing?  If nothing is this object of nothingness, then it is not nothing, but something.   Can nothing exist?  Then it is something.  Is non-existence a concept in your mind?   A concept is something, not nothing.  Is nothing a non-existent state and therefore a state and therefore something?  Is nothing the void?   The void is something.   Can you displace nothing?  Can it be measured?   What are the attributes of nothing?  Say them, and we shall label it something.   The very act of defining nothing, makes it something.  To contemplate non-existence implies existence, so nothing is a non-existent idea in our minds.  As an idea, it is something.    How about we say <THIS> is something and <THAT> is nothing.  Well, <THAT> nothing is now something.

See where this goes?  Do you have a sufficient, satisfactory answer to why there is something rather than nothing?  I tell you that there is none.  The question itself is absurd.   The question of nothing is itself a fallacious question, as you cannot appeal to nothingness without appealing to something.    These questions are meaningless, and need not be answered.

Thanks, Mordeth, I will certainly not try to better your explanation as to why there could never have been "nothing".  It doesn't exist.
 

Online Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #61 on: 23/08/2015 01:05:58 »
Quote from: Timey
An infinite state of nothing progressed into a state of everything infinitely...

Sorry. You still have progress in infinity.  Maybe you could get Mordeth to formulate it for you, his perplexing verbosity has an exuberance that is quite enviable.  :)
 

Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #62 on: 23/08/2015 01:28:09 »
Thanks, Mordeth, I will certainly not try to better your explanation as to why there could never have been "nothing".  It doesn't exist.

But surely now we have a quandary...if nothing does not exist we have no means of defining everything, therefore this is calling into question the existence of everything.  I'm quite sure my logic is not faulty!

"Nothing" is simply a word,

True, but it is also a concept...

Quote from: Timey
An infinite state of nothing progressed into a state of everything infinitely...

Sorry. You still have progress in infinity.

Ah yes my main man, how very true :), but now we find ourselves at the crux of the OP's question...
Can we say that what comes before the word 'progressed' is before the Big Bang or initial point of creation, and that the word 'progressed' is the Big Bang or initial point of creation and also the point of the initiation of the beginning of the phenomenon of time itself? 
 

Offline Mordeth

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #63 on: 23/08/2015 02:28:55 »
"Nothing" is simply a word,  <the word concept snipped by Timey, among other things>
Quote from: timey
True, but it is also a concept...

Hi timey,  did you intentionally snip the second part of the sentence of mine that you quoted in which I specifically stated it was a concept and then correct me and say it was a concept?   Surely there is some fundamental universal principle  that has been violated here.   Good stuff my friend!  :)  I shall henceforth compare this outrage to the work of another poster here who is of the opinion that terms must be stated twice in the same sentence in order to carry meaning to the reader. 

All said above in good fun. 

 
 

Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #64 on: 23/08/2015 02:47:28 »
Please Mordeth accept my most abject apologies, I actually 'hate' it when people do that to me... :).  Your point is taken!

Are we arguing the same toss of the coin though?  What do you reckon to the finale?  The creation concept - "An infinite state of nothing progressed into a state of everything infinitely" - in relation to what came before the Big Bang, or the moment of creation (as I prefer) ?

Can we say that what comes before the word 'progressed' is before the Big Bang or initial point of creation, and that the word 'progressed' is the Big Bang or initial point of creation and also the point of the initiation of the beginning of the phenomenon of time itself?
« Last Edit: 23/08/2015 02:54:31 by timey »
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #65 on: 23/08/2015 11:07:34 »
Due to the fact that GR requires mass to increase, hence relativistic mass, then an infinite amount of energy is required to reach light speed for particles with rest mass. This can be applied to the escape velocity required to move away from a black hole. We also have infinite energy required to escape at the event horizon. The mathematics breaks down because of this. This al relates to movement normal or perpendicular to the imaginary surface of the event horizon. If we consider an object moving towards a black hole with a velocity that is an appreciable percentage of light speed then the effect of the tidal forces give us another problem. As they will tend to accelerate the object. Something has to prevent light speed violation outside the horizon. If the speed of the particle is approaching the speed of gravity then this may be the answer to preventing the mathematics from breaking down. The gravitation is then less effective as the speed of the particle approaches the speed of gravitation. In which case you can think of the singularity in different terms. You could also explain the coordinate nature of time and distance. Thus the big bang might not be such a mystery.
 

Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #66 on: 23/08/2015 11:19:14 »
These all being points of high interest to me, I find that I 'can' easily follow the path of your logic Jeff and look forward to hearing more on this...
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #67 on: 23/08/2015 12:21:26 »
These all being points of high interest to me, I find that I 'can' easily follow the path of your logic Jeff and look forward to hearing more on this...

For this to be feasible you need a force carrier, the graviton. The density of force carriers would have to operate to reduce the increase in acceleration. Effectively slowing down the passage of time as well.
 

Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #68 on: 23/08/2015 12:24:18 »
Yes, that 'is' an interesting notion indeed Jeff! :)
 

Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #69 on: 23/08/2015 12:24:49 »
Presumably no one wishes to enter a discussion concerning my questions regarding the statement:

"An infinite state of nothing progressed into a state of everything infinitely."

Can we say that what comes before the word 'progressed' is before the Big Bang or initial point of creation, and that the word 'progressed' is the Big Bang or initial point of creation and also the point of the initiation of the beginning of the phenomenon of time itself?

This being because this will, following the path of logic, lead to a discussion regarding the part after the word 'progressed' in relation to the second law of thermodynamics and 'perhaps' call into question our current perception of the nature of the Big Bang?
 

Offline Mordeth

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #70 on: 23/08/2015 15:25:09 »
Please Mordeth accept my most abject apologies, I actually 'hate' it when people do that to me... :).  Your point is taken!
No problem timey.   I appreciate the discussion. 

Quote from: timey
Are we arguing the same toss of the coin though?  What do you reckon to the finale?  The creation concept - "An infinite state of nothing progressed into a state of everything infinitely" - in relation to what came before the Big Bang, or the moment of creation (as I prefer) ?
I truly wish I knew.  I easily have 200 pages of notes on this subject alone.  Many of the discrete models, like loop quantum gravity,  assume that spacetime is not fundamental, but emerges from something else.  The problem is that these discrete models tend to violate Lorentz invariance.   The Fermi observations suggest spacetime is continous, as GR predicts.  This is one of the reasons we have no quantum theory of gravity. Without a quantum theory of gravity, we may never know. 


Can we say that what comes before the word 'progressed' is before the Big Bang or initial point of creation, and that the word 'progressed' is the Big Bang or initial point of creation and also the point of the initiation of the beginning of the phenomenon of time itself?
Events have only progressed from Planck time forward.  Fundamentally, GR and most of physics only concerns itself wih events and the relationship between these events.  So we measure these relationships and develop theories to describe them.  Like the curvature of spacetime.

 GR does not describe the initial conditions as an event.  Events only occur in spacetime.  In fact, events and their relationships are what define spacetime. 


 

Offline Mordeth

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #71 on: 23/08/2015 15:58:36 »
Hi jeffreyH,

Many individuals misunderstand the term escape velocity.  Escape velocity only describes the initial speed at which an object can escape forever.  Objects under constant acceleration can "escape"  at virtually any speed if under propulsion.  The problem with the event horizon trapping objects forever is not necessarily related to the escape velocity equaling  c.  The problem is that once you cross the event horizon, your light cone is forever enclosed within. There is no geodesic that points outside the event horizon.   Space has become curved on itself and the future lies only at the singularity.  Once you cross the event horizon, no matter what speed you take, or which direction you  point, you can never leave.  The future direction of time has become radially bent to the singularity.  Put another way, the singularity exists in all directions you take after crossing an event horizon, regardless of any arbitrarily large speed.   All you will do is get to the singularity faster.
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #72 on: 23/08/2015 16:27:11 »
Hi jeffreyH,

Many individuals misunderstand the term escape velocity.  Escape velocity only describes the initial speed at which an object can escape forever.  Objects under constant acceleration can "escape"  at virtually any speed if under propulsion.  The problem with the event horizon trapping objects forever is not necessarily related to the escape velocity equaling  c.  The problem is that once you cross the event horizon, your light cone is forever enclosed within. There is no geodesic that points outside the event horizon.   Space has become curved on itself and the future lies only at the singularity.  Once you cross the event horizon, no matter what speed you take, or which direction you  point, you can never leave.  The future direction of time has become radially bent to the singularity.  Put another way, the singularity exists in all directions you take after crossing an event horizon, regardless of any arbitrarily large speed.   All you will do is get to the singularity faster.

I already know all that. I am interested in the kinetic energy necessary for escape to infinity.
 

Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #73 on: 23/08/2015 16:45:41 »
Please Mordeth accept my most abject apologies, I actually 'hate' it when people do that to me... :).  Your point is taken!
No problem timey.   I appreciate the discussion. 

Can we say that what comes before the word 'progressed' is before the Big Bang or initial point of creation, and that the word 'progressed' is the Big Bang or initial point of creation and also the point of the initiation of the beginning of the phenomenon of time itself?
Events have only progressed from Planck time forward.  Fundamentally, GR and most of physics only concerns itself wih events and the relationship between these events.  So we measure these relationships and develop theories to describe them.  Like the curvature of spacetime.

 GR does not describe the initial conditions as an event.  Events only occur in spacetime.  In fact, events and their relationships are what define spacetime.

I too appreciate the discussion :)

(I have not quoted the whole of your post, Pete asked me not to quote needlessly to make for easier reading, but please know I have taken on board your other comments)

Ok, well the OP's question is allowing us room for a 'little' speculation... Perhaps?

You have alluded to the fact that GR and QM are insufficient to describe everything.  Let's ditch them for the present.

Given that you are happy with the derivation of the statement.  ie: on the basis that an 'absence' can be defined as a description of that which is not there, and 'nothing' can be defined by the existence of 'everything', which is already defined - and by the same token, because 'everything' is defined, 'nothing' cannot not exist - and that we have by definition defined a state of nothing as a concept...so long as you are happy that this now is a statement based in logic...

Could we consider 'an infinite state of nothing' as a pre Big Bang state?

Could we consider 'progressed' as the means of cross over from nothing to everything being a Big Bang or creation type scenario?
« Last Edit: 23/08/2015 16:53:40 by timey »
 

Offline Mordeth

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #74 on: 24/08/2015 03:48:44 »
Quote from: timey
I too appreciate the discussion :)

(I have not quoted the whole of your post, Pete asked me not to quote needlessly to make for easier reading, but please know I have taken on board your other comments)

Ok, well the OP's question is allowing us room for a 'little' speculation... Perhaps?

You have alluded to the fact that GR and QM are insufficient to describe everything.  Let's ditch them for the present.

Given that you are happy with the derivation of the statement.  ie: on the basis that an 'absence' can be defined as a description of that which is not there, and 'nothing' can be defined by the existence of 'everything', which is already defined - and by the same token, because 'everything' is defined, 'nothing' cannot not exist - and that we have by definition defined a state of nothing as a concept...so long as you are happy that this now is a statement based in logic...

Could we consider 'an infinite state of nothing' as a pre Big Bang state?

Could we consider 'progressed' as the means of cross over from nothing to everything being a Big Bang or creation type scenario?
Hi timey,

I understand where you are going with this, but there is a point where a discussion of physics turns to philosophy, metaphysics and opinion.  There is no quantifiable property that can be empirically measured in the scenario you ask me of.  Therefore,  no answer I give will be in the context of physics.  If spacetime is not a fundamental property, that is, if it is more than the 4 dimensional manifold that GR predicts, then we need to invoke strings, loops and other mathematical constructs to describe what it emerged from.  I am ok with that.  But beyond that, we enter a realm that numbers and math and physics do not and cannot describe.  So as I said somewhere around page 1,  a person is free to speculate.

The philosopher in me wants to believe that our Universe emerged from something.  The logician inside me denies it.  The scientist in me does not know and refuses to guess.   An infinite state of nothing, containing only the potential to  be something, and progressing to a state of something I can measure suits me, I suppose.

Do you think, in the context of philosophy and not mathematics, that the concept of infinity can be any more understood than the concept of nothingness?  Can you even conceive of something without limit?  Could the concepts of infinity and nothingness be the same thing?   Are they then indistinguishable from each other?  Equally paradoxical and otherwise inconceivable?  If infinity exists, how could it then be something other than nothing?
 

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #74 on: 24/08/2015 03:48:44 »

 

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