Naked Science Forum

Non Life Sciences => Physics, Astronomy & Cosmology => Topic started by: Akabiz on 17/08/2019 04:38:17

Title: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Akabiz on 17/08/2019 04:38:17
I am definitely not a physicist or astronomer by any means but I have a theory.  What if the Big Bang was not the beginning of the Universe but just an event in the universe?  The Big Bang could be an event that pushes dark matter outward like a large earthquake creates a tsunami in the ocean.  This could explain why the universe seems to be expanding faster in one direction then the other.  Also it could explain how HD 140283 looks like it’s older than the universe.  If this Big Bang event took place and the wave of dark matter overtook HD 140283 instead of destroying it, that would explain why it looks older then the universe.  Like the way a tsunami could overtake an island leaving it permanently covered by water.  The water is new but the island is older because it was there prior to the event.  So as the dark matter continues to extend outward from the event but it has left behind planets that were there prior to the Big Bang.  I know this is probably a stupid theory and has been thought of already and can immediately be disproven but thought I would throw it out there.  I love thinking about the universe and what is out there.  Thanks for your time and please don’t be too harsh.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: RobC on 17/08/2019 08:43:39
Sean Carroll believes the universe is infinite in both directions i.e. it never had a beginning, it was always there and it will never end.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bogie_smiles on 17/08/2019 12:58:38
I am definitely not a physicist or astronomer by any means but I have a theory.  What if the Big Bang was not the beginning of the Universe but just an event in the universe?  …
I love thinking about the universe and what is out there.  Thanks for your time …
As an elder member but with no administrative or operating connection to the Naked Scientists, welcome. I too love contemplating the nature of the universe and theorizing “what ifs” so I hope that you plan to engage in discussion at TNS.

In reply to the question positing no beginning, I would side with the thought that the Big Bang was not the beginning of the universe but was the initial event in our observable arena within the greater universe. I think of our observable universe as the space connected to our “local” big bang event which could certainly be one of an endless scenario of multiple similar events of “expansion, overlap, crunch and bang” here and there, now and then, across an infinite and eternal universe.

These collapse/bangs could be expected to expand, as ours appears to be doing, and eventually expansion could lead to arenas intersecting and overlapping with each other, causing the gravitational formation of galactic matter and energy into big crunches, which in turn reach a critical capacity and collapse/bang. Just speculating when I say that :) .
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Colin2B on 17/08/2019 14:43:58
I am definitely not a physicist or astronomer by any means but I have a theory.  What if the Big Bang was not the beginning of the Universe but just an event in the universe? 
It depends what you mean by ‘the universe’. Some, as @Bogie_smiles says take it to mean what we see today, others as @RobC indicates take it to mean a continuum in which a number of catastrophic events have occurred. Whichever way we take it, in our particular universe we don’t really know what happened before the period called inflation - although most cosmologists agree that there wasn’t a big bang from a singularity, to start everything off.
What happened before inflation is open to speculation, but no one is likely to be taken seriously unless they know a lot of physics and cosmology and can put together a very detailed hypothesis.

Certainly there are many who would say that there was not a period where nothing existed, probably as many would say it’s likely nothing existed before our universe.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: yor_on on 17/08/2019 15:26:46
I'll go with Sean and Collin :)
It was there, we can 'see' it looking back. But that doesn't tell us any more than that was when time started to 'tick', for us

13.7 (8) billions years ago, which may change :)
Time is a very strange idea.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: CG on 25/08/2019 13:27:28
Who's to say we aren't looking at ourselves when looking at the universe? Maybe gravitational lensing is acting like a mirror and we are looking at our own selves.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 25/08/2019 14:45:17
Hi CG, welcome.

Quote
Who's to say we aren't looking at ourselves when looking at the universe?

Humphrey Bogart would have liked that.  “Here's looking at you, kid," :)

On a more serious note:

Quote
Maybe gravitational lensing is acting like a mirror and we are looking at our own selves.

This could let in CTCs and all the speculative flapdoodle that goes with them.  I don’t know enough about gravitational lensing to make an informed comment, but I struggle to think of a way in which it could give rise to a mirroring effect on a global level.  It will be interesting to see what the experts think.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 25/08/2019 15:00:21
Quote from: Colin
Certainly there are many who would say that there was not a period where nothing existed, probably as many would say it’s likely nothing existed before our universe.

Has anyone in the latter group actually explained how we could be here if there had ever been “nothing”? 

Fellow posters will know (only too well) that I subject TNS to recrudescences of the something from nothing debate, but I really am trying to keep an open mind. 
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: yor_on on 25/08/2019 23:15:23
Maybe there exist a third possibility Bill, that we 'exist' as defined by the standard theory, universe included. But as you go down in scale we 'dissolve' into particles and forces. Gravity shrinks space according to relativity, and 'photons' acts and get acted upon by gravity. It seems to fall back on a question of 'energy'. With a infinite amount of energy, how would gravity behave?

Presume a infinite magnitude of energy, can there be created a toy model of a 'point'? We don't have one 'point' of conception though for this universe, as far as I see those 'points' exist everywhere. And we don't want to introduce a 'outside' because the logic for that will only lead us astray. It all hinges on dimensions being a construct though, not a origin. If that is correct then what you and me are becomes something more than just the sum of our parts.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 26/08/2019 18:36:43
Quote from: yor_on
Maybe there exist a third possibility Bill, that we 'exist' as defined by the standard theory, universe included.


That sounds a bit philosophical.  Who/what specified the “standard theory”?  How would that explain how something could come from nothing?

Quote
It seems to fall back on a question of 'energy'. With a infinite amount of energy, how would gravity behave?

Doesn’t that depend on how you define “infinite amount”?  Do you really mean “infinite” amount, or just an amount that is so large that we cannot measure it?
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: yor_on on 28/08/2019 11:01:44
What I thought of referring to the standard theory is that is the best we have for the time being, but who and what defined it is a pretty long story. It's a model so maybe I should have named it that instead of calling it a theory. infinite should be infinite, there's a difference between assuming that a infinity is something countable although not possible for us to count and infinite as in uncountable. If you take religion I seem to remember a saying in where God can keep count of it all " how not one sparrow falls, that our heavenly Father, does not see it." and what it could be seen to represent is the first proposition in where a 'infinity' becomes something 'countable', although not for us.  But that's not my view of it. If you think of a infinite universe then the idea must be that no matter where you are you still will find a 'bubble of light' around you 13.8~billion light years, no matter how far you go. That I think is a good example of a real infinity.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: yor_on on 28/08/2019 11:08:20
You can also think of a infinity as something represented by 'photons' which represent a limit of propagation 'c'. If we assume that you could take a particle of mass and wind it up to being infinitely close to 'c'. Would you expect it to meet a wall somewhere? The universe must 'shrink' for it but will it 'stop' its propagation?
=

you will need some presumptions for that one, as ignoring gravity and being in a 'perfect vacuum', but the idea still works.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 28/08/2019 13:35:21
The reason I queried the “standard theory” was that you seemed to be presenting it as a possible answer to my question: “Has anyone in the latter group actually explained how we could be here if there was ever “nothing”?”.

For me, the something-from-nothing question is closely linked to thoughts about infinity and eternity.   

Occasionally, I quote Krauss as saying: “By nothing, I do not mean nothing…..” I admit that this is only part of what he said, so is probably not a fair quote.  I defend it on the grounds that, for me, it sums up the something from nothing argument as it is customarily presented; and it’s “fun”.

One may, perhaps, need to take a closer look at his book to register his admission, towards the end, that every-thing he has been talking about simply takes the basic principles of quantum mechanics for granted.

It seems that it all hinges on the laws of quantum mechanics.

Where are these laws supposed to have come from? Surely quantum mechanics must be something, or be relate to something; and that something must have predated the “writing” of the laws.  Krauss - a little grudgingly – confesses to not having a clue on this particular issue.  Somehow, he seems to think it doesn’t matter.  Possibly, it doesn’t matter, but I have a feeling that the question as to how – not why – we are here is something that scientists should not relegate to semantic triviality.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 28/08/2019 13:53:49
A long history underlies the search for, and interpretation of, the fundamental laws of nature; but these laws take it for granted that there is, essentially, a persisting, physical “something”.

The fundamental physical laws that Krauss talks about are the laws of relativistic quantum field theories.  Presumably, these quantum fields constitute the most up-to-date version of the underlying “something”.  The scientific “world view” has become more arcane, but the basic position has not changed.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: yor_on on 29/08/2019 19:34:39
That's a difficult proposition Bill, that it doesn't matter. I would say it do matter, at least for me. There are some things I try to avoid, like creating self fulfilling ideas. Like circles inside circles inside circles of logic. They don't lead anywhere. But it's also a question of how you define it. Can one just find a way to define it in where it makes sense it will be interesting. As for example the way I want to define dimensions as something 'created' instead of a origin. To me it makes sense :)
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: yor_on on 29/08/2019 19:36:23
For your other post I would refer to statistics, and the way we try to interpret those.
Title: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe
Post by: AustinnEp on 06/09/2019 11:47:19
The first sentence from the SpaceDaily article reporting this caught my attention:Although for five decades, the Big Bang theory has been the best known and most accepted explanation for the beginning and evolution of the Universe, it is hardly a consensus among scientists.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 06/09/2019 18:48:59
A quick skim through the article left me thinking: It's an interesting article, but what's new, here? Could the most significant word be "reintroduces" ?  He seems to hold an outmoded view of the "Big Bang Singularity", and describing the Big Bang as an explosion is a bit misleading.

I'll try to find a few minutes to read it properly; I might need to apologise to the author. :)
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: jeffreyH on 06/09/2019 20:06:25
Sean Carroll believes the universe is infinite in both directions i.e. it never had a beginning, it was always there and it will never end.

Entropy? Heat death? You would need a way of perpetually undoing the increase in entropy AND be consistent with the laws of thermodynamics.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: esquire on 06/09/2019 23:01:21
As  for common science dogma, everything in the Universe is a wave. That implies momentum and locality cannot be mutually established under the uncertainity principle. The Big Bang Theory, says it occurred 14.5 billion years ago, this is a measurement of velocity in light years and an assumption of locality. 14.5 billion light years ago to present, is a velocity approximation. 14.5 billion years ago is also  a locality assumption.

Is the Universe's initial rapid expansion an exception to the uncertainity principle? Backwards engineering the Universe's age for locality and expansion velocity,  says it is.

The Higgs Boson creates a wave energy signature at the location of the particles collision. Its gaussian wave signature is recorded and it energy disappears from sensor detection. The magnetic resonance detectors which are capable of recording objects at the speed of light, observe the Higgs Boson at the initial location with its speed of light velocity. So, initially, it's wave location, and it wave velocity are determined. But then it's energy disappears completely, with no sign of decay or annilation of its energy which is a violation of the law of conservation. This presents an issue, how and where did this energy disappear to?  Such are the mystery's of science!



Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: esquire on 07/09/2019 01:18:19


Is the Universe's initial rapid expansion an exception to the uncertainity principle? Backwards engineering the Universe's age for locality and expansion velocity,  says it is.



Was the initial expansion  of the Universe, faster then the speed of light?
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: esquire on 07/09/2019 01:38:47


Is the Universe's initial rapid expansion an exception to the uncertainity principle? Backwards engineering the Universe's age for locality and expansion velocity,  says it is.



Was the initial expansion  of the Universe, faster then the speed of light?

Was the Big Bang essentially the creation of a new dimension?
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: esquire on 07/09/2019 04:03:27
Can  momentum/velocity be a defining parameter for dimensionality?  Would exceeding the speed of light place one in a different separate dimension?
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: flummoxed on 07/09/2019 10:29:22
It seems that it all hinges on the laws of quantum mechanics.Where are these laws supposed to have come from? Surely quantum mechanics must be something, or be relate to something; and that something must have predated the “writing” of the laws.  Krauss - a little grudgingly – confesses to not having a clue on this particular issue.  Somehow, he seems to think it doesn’t matter.  Possibly, it doesn’t matter, but I have a feeling that the question as to how – not why – we are here is something that scientists should not relegate to semantic triviality.

This is a bit speculative, but to answer your question; something I have stumbled across recently is SED Stochaistic Electro Dynamics. It attempts to explain the Physics behind Quantum Mechanics, based on the zero point energy of the vacuum. It is a deterministic theory being developed by a number of researchers around the world.

Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: flummoxed on 07/09/2019 10:33:55

Was the initial expansion  of the Universe, faster then the speed of light?

According to the various inflationary models around yes it was. The inflationary stage of the existing visible universe, speculating might have been the cause of the baryogenesis and hot big bang. The growth of our visible universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. At some stage in the future it could reach inflationary growth rates and again, and who knows another big bang.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 07/09/2019 17:31:21
https://www.quantamagazine.org/big-bounce-models-reignite-big-bang-debate-20180131/

I think this is worth a look.  Some of its ideas seem a bit “way-out”, but there’s a lot to think about.

Quote
“Imagine there’s just one of these curled-up extra dimensions, a tiny circle found at every point in space. As Graham put it, “At each point in space there’s an extra direction you can go in, a fourth spatial direction, but you can only go a tiny little distance and then you come back to where you started.”

Am I alone in seeing a major snag here?
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: CPT ArkAngel on 07/09/2019 17:47:11
Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?

If what you call "the universe" is everything which is real, then no. The idea that the Big Bang comes from nothing comes from the mixing of three main ideas, each is unproven.

1- There is a vacuum field which has an independent existence of the matter field.
2- Randomness is fundamental.
3- There is a multiverse. (this one is a kind of a consequence of the other 2)

The nothing is not nothing but the vacuum field. Some physicists think that the total energy of the vacuum field is zero. There is an equal amount of positive and negative energy (attraction vs repulsion). But nevertheless, you need constant fluctuations of the field to create matter. The randomness sweeps this necessity under the rug.

The problem is that gravity is not unified with Quantum Mechanics, so this is speculations. From Einstein's point of view, there shouldn't be any vacuum fields in absence of matter. Furthermore, the universe could have no beginning and no end but be finite in energy and space. In fact, this makes more sense if you consider the quantization of the elements which implies some sort of limits on the fields. How such limits could exist in an infinitely large universe? It leads to infinite regressions upon infinite regressions leading to no limit at all...
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 07/09/2019 19:48:13
 
Quote
How such limits could exist in an infinitely large universe? It leads to infinite regressions upon infinite regressions leading to no limit at all...

The ultimate apagoge!
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 07/09/2019 20:00:11
Quote
Some physicists think that the total energy of the vacuum field is zero. There is an equal amount of positive and negative energy

Isn't this conclusion based on the apparent belief that zero net energy and zero total energy are synonymous?
Wouldn't that belief be erroneous?
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: CPT ArkAngel on 07/09/2019 20:25:59
"How such limits could exist in an infinitely large universe? It leads to infinite regressions upon infinite regressions leading to no limit at all..."

It is not a proof but I invoke Occam's razor. You may add fixed parameters resulting in more fine tuning. Same for your other question. Hi Bill!
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: CPT ArkAngel on 07/09/2019 20:33:32
To your second question, yes. My point of view is there is no negative energy, there is just inflows and outflows of mass-energy. There is attraction and repulsion but no negative energy. I must stop here because it is just a theory... A last comment: Time and space have asymmetries which generate the structure of matter and space-time. That's how you get only positive energy. Time is the dynamics. Think about the Equivalence Principle.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 08/09/2019 02:37:15
Quote from: Jeffrey
Entropy? Heat death? You would need a way of perpetually undoing the increase in entropy AND be consistent with the laws of thermodynamics.

Just a thought about the entropy involved.  although scientists assure us that they can follow the course of the expansion of the Universe backwards to an unimaginably small fraction of a second after the Big Bang, they cannot actually reach it.  It follows, therefore, that at the point at which the “known” history of the Universe starts, the Universe already existed.

Thus, the BB doesn’t explain the “presence” of the Universe.  However, it does seem to indicate that entropy was very low at the start.  Is this the case?

If no “new” matter/energy has been “created” since the BB; it follows that, initially, the entire Universe was compacted into an unimaginably small “space”.   

At the start, the entropy of the Universe must have been at its maximum.  There were few, if any, ways in which the contents could be distributed.  Only when the Universe began to expand would there have been room for possible variations of the state of the quark/gluon plasma, or whatever the composition was.

The “creation” of space lowered the entropy by providing the potential for “work”. 
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: flummoxed on 08/09/2019 11:21:46
If no “new” matter/energy has been “created” since the BB; it follows that, initially, the entire Universe was compacted into an unimaginably small “space”.   

No it does not, the Big bang is a model of the visible universe. Space is expanding, and a microscopic volume of space now in a few trillion trillion years will occupy a larger volume of space.

Thus, the BB doesn’t explain the “presence” of the Universe.  However, it does seem to indicate that entropy was very low at the start.  Is this the case?

Entropy of space is tending towards zero as the universe expands. See Penroses ideas. The big bang might repeat itself over and over again in different Aeons.

It follows, therefore, that at the point at which the “known” history of the Universe starts, the Universe already existed.

Why should a universe not already exist.

------------

The HUP does not violate the laws of thermo dynamics because it only borrows energy from the vacuum of space momentarily. The Zero point energy of the vacuum, is theoretically zero. The Casimir effect proves it exists.. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that the inflation of a region of space separated virtual particle pairs from the vacuum of space causing baryogenesis. Not unlike Hawking radiation around Blackholes.

A pop science link to SED, this link got me interested. http://www.calphysics.org/zpe.html It seems that the zero point vacuum energy of space might be behind the HUP the expansion of space how atoms are created, entanglement etc etc. SED has been under development for about 30 years by various theoretical physicists.

Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 08/09/2019 13:41:12
Quote
  No it does not, the Big bang is a model of the visible universe. Space is expanding, and a microscopic volume of space now in a few trillion trillion years will occupy a larger volume of space.

Are you saying that about 10-43s after the BB, the “visible universe” did not occupy “an unimaginably small space”?  If you are not; I struggle to see the relevance of the comment, however correct it might be in itself.

Quote
Entropy of space is tending towards zero as the universe expands.

I do my best with entropy. :)  I thought it was increasing as the Universe expands, but I could have that wrong.

Quote
See Penroses ideas. The big bang might repeat itself over and over again in different Aeons.

No argument there, but I don’t see the relevance to the entropy of the nascent Universe.

Quote from: Bill
It follows, therefore, that at the point at which the “known” history of the Universe starts, the Universe already existed.

Quote from: Flummoxed
Why should a universe not already exist.

If my quote suggested that the Universe should not already have existed, it was unintentional.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: flummoxed on 08/09/2019 15:37:17
I do my best with entropy.   I thought it was increasing as the Universe expands, but I could have that wrong

Yes the overall entropy of the universe is increasing. However in space there isnt much there except galaxies. As the universe continues to expand and all the visible galaxies and bits of rock dissappear over your visible horizon you are effectively in an area of space with a very low entropy ie it tends towards zero, because there aint nothing there :( except zero point energy of the vacuum, which might be what drives the expansion of space.


Are you saying that about 10-43s after the BB, the “visible universe” did not occupy “an unimaginably small space”?  If you are not; I struggle to see the relevance of the comment, however correct it might be in itself.

OK I suspect you are taking the piss :) But lets say in a volume of space the size of a grapefruit devoid of matter and therefore zero entropy, it starts to expand at speeds not seen before the inflationary stage of the big bang model due to the zero point energy of the vacuum. This expansion is so fast that virtual particles are separated and become real causing baryogenesis and Big Bang nucleo synthesis the universe as we know it etc Until the next Aeon
 
No argument there, but I don’t see the relevance to the entropy of the nascent Universe.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conformal_cyclic_cosmology

Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: flummoxed on 08/09/2019 15:49:30
At the start, the entropy of the Universe must have been at its maximum.  There were few, if any, ways in which the contents could be distributed.  Only when the Universe began to expand would there have been room for possible variations of the state of the quark/gluon plasma, or whatever the composition was.

The “creation” of space lowered the entropy by providing the potential for “work”. 

You are agreeing with me here I think. Expansion of space reduces the entropy locally in that region of space.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 08/09/2019 18:28:52
We are, probably trying to cover too many points at once, so I’ll start with just one point from your last post.  Hopefully we can clear that up before moving to the next.

Quote
Yes the overall entropy of the universe is increasing. However in space there isnt much there except galaxies. As the universe continues to expand and all the visible galaxies and bits of rock dissappear over your visible horizon you are effectively in an area of space with a very low entropy…….

If we are considering the entropy of the Universe a fraction of a second after the BB; we are certainly looking at the whole Universe.  It becomes important to distinguish clearly between the Universe (= observable universe) and anything else that might be hypothesised to exist.

E.g. in
 
Quote
] No it does not, the Big bang is a model of the visible universe. Space is expanding, and a microscopic volume of space now in a few trillion trillion years will occupy a larger volume of space.
You seem to be saying that I cannot make a specific proposal about the entropy of the Universe just after the BB, because some unspecified “volume of space” will expand in the distant future.   Is that right?
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: flummoxed on 09/09/2019 10:30:12
You seem to be saying that I cannot make a specific proposal about the entropy of the Universe just after the BB, because some unspecified “volume of space” will expand in the distant future.   Is that right?

There is a lot to this question. You appear to be assuming a closed area of space, which might not have been the case.
Rather than me waffle on here is a link from Ethan https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/04/15/ask-ethan-what-was-the-entropy-of-the-universe-at-the-big-bang/#7b2b4ac27280

The laws of thermodynamics in the Big bang seem a bit muddled dont you think? My point being the big bang theory is only a mathematical model, which you will note does not require the high degrees of proof required in other sciences, particle physics for example. So when I look at it, I dont believe it is proven fact. It is only the current favored evolving model of the universe. Other interesting models exist, and perhaps some where in the middle of them all lies the truth.

Cosmic Cyclic Cosmology, Quantum Loop Gravity, etc etc >  the list goes on. Some of which might be partly plausible and others appear to be science fiction.

The CMBR appears to support a hot dense state of photons that spread out filling all of space. But would there be any difference to the model, if at the end of the inflationary epoch baryogenesis occurred, without the original hot dense state?
I think in my simple way of looking at things, this fits the data without all matter in the universe coming out of an area the size of a grapefruit.

It is possible if Hawking radiation is correct, that the inflation of space might have caused particle production, from the zero point energy of the vacuum.  Here is a wiki on the subject https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-point_energy

Edit just remembered this link posted some time ago https://profmattstrassler.com/2014/03/17/my-new-articles-on-big-bang-inflation-etc/ enjoy
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: flummoxed on 09/09/2019 14:52:00
Edit to answer the OP was the big bang the beginning of the universe? Likely it was not the beginning of the entire universe, maybe just the visible universe.

Ref various different views on inflationary models http://universe-review.ca/R02-13-inflation.htm this is a quick overview.

I like the idea of repeated big bangs, in an already existing universe. It appears to step around the need for inflation and a beginning of time. Our visible universe might be circa 40 billion years old, but an older universe likely exists beyond what can be observed.

Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 09/09/2019 17:20:23
Flummoxed, I'm unlikely to have time to follow the links in #37 for a while.  I've found both Siegel and Strassler very helpful in the past.  In the meantime:

Quote
I like the idea of repeated big bangs, in an already existing universe. It appears to step around the need for inflation and a beginning of time. Our visible universe might be circa 40 billion years old, but an older universe likely exists beyond what can be observed.

Starting everything at the BB, or any specific point, involves the something-from-nothing problem.
Multiple, bouncing or otherwise repeating universes, run into "Turtles-all-the-way-down" problem.
What about an infinite, eternal, changeless cosmos, of which our Universe is a 3+1D "shadow". No creation from nothing, no infinite regression!   

Just a thought.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Colin2B on 09/09/2019 18:30:38
Starting everything at the BB, or any specific point, involves the something-from-nothing problem.
I think that’s why flummoxed was specific in saying ‘visible universe’; you could also call it the current universe, so no  something from nothing needed.
You need to be clear about what you mean by ‘the universe’.

Multiple, bouncing or otherwise repeating universes, run into "Turtles-all-the-way-down" problem.
What about an infinite, eternal, changeless cosmos, of which our Universe is a 3+1D "shadow". No creation from nothing, no infinite regression!   
To be honest it still doesn’t answer the question whether our something could emerge from nothing, or even what we might mean by that nothing.
We've had lots of debates on this and they generally go nowhere because none of us have a deep enough knowledge of the physics involved to make a reasonable contribution. Infinite debate  ;D
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: flummoxed on 09/09/2019 19:11:34
Starting everything at the BB, or any specific point, involves the something-from-nothing problem.
Multiple, bouncing or otherwise repeating universes, run into "Turtles-all-the-way-down" problem.
What about an infinite, eternal, changeless cosmos, of which our Universe is a 3+1D "shadow". No creation from nothing, no infinite regression! 

No one was around in the big bang, to see it happen, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that it did not happen as described in the various models. You raise an extra dimension, is that like a collapsed dimension in a black hole, an unfolded dimension in string theory or a membrane connecting all points in space. We could live inside a BH with an extra dimension Podolsky russian guy.

Can you expand on what you mean.

Zero point energy of the vacuum, and gets around the laws of thermodynamics by only borrowing momentarily the energy then giving straight back.  BUT
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: flummoxed on 09/09/2019 19:14:20
We've had lots of debates on this and they generally go nowhere because none of us have a deep enough knowledge of the physics involved to make a reasonable contribution. Infinite debate

I learn a lot by speculating. I find in many instances some one theoretically clever has already had the idea.:) 
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 10/09/2019 12:48:18
Quote from: Colin
You need to be clear about what you mean by ‘the universe’.
Using the “Universe, universe, cosmos” distinction is an attempt at clarity.  Here, I said “everything”, as I thought that might avoid confusion arising from interpretations of “universe”.  What could there be that is not included in “everything”?

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To be honest it still doesn’t answer the question whether our something could emerge from nothing…

Of course it doesn’t, but it does remove the need to ask the question in the first place.

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…, or even what we might mean by that nothing……. none of us have a deep enough knowledge of the physics involved to make a reasonable contribution. 

Surely, if physics is involved, we are already talking about “something”.  How would you define “the physics of nothing” without treating “nothing” as “something”? 
This is not just a facetious question.  Discussing “nothingness” or “infinity” does tend to cause heads to be firmly inserted up semantic arses, which is unfortunate.  As you rightly say: "Infinite debate".
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 10/09/2019 18:00:45
Quote from: Flummoxed
No one was around in the big bang, to see it happen, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that it did not happen as described in the various models.

That’s why they are models, not dogmatic statements.

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You raise an extra dimension, is that like a collapsed dimension in a black hole, an unfolded dimension in string theory or a membrane connecting all points in space.

Nothing so complex; just 3 of space + time.

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Can you expand on what you mean.

If you mean “The Infinite Cosmos”,  I’ll have to come back to you on that.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: flummoxed on 10/09/2019 22:36:18
Discussing “nothingness” or “infinity” does tend to cause heads to be firm

This is an interesting philosophical statement, infinite (unfolded space time dimensions) + nothing (none space time dimensions ) could exist at the same time. Space does appear to be expanding between galaxies, and perhaps contracting near mass in some way causing the curvature of space time.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 11/09/2019 13:05:49
Quote from: Flummoxed
Can you expand on what you mean.

Can we try an experiment?

I Posted the following some months ago, and got no response.  I’d like to try it from a different perspective.  Patience, please.  The idea is to look at the logic, or otherwise, of the whole line of reasoning.

Start be assuming that statements 1 – 4 are correct.  Their veracity can be demolished later!

For the moment, forget about mathematics, we can come to that later.

1. Something must always have existed.  Let’s call that “something” the cosmos.
2. The cosmos (everything that is, or ever can be) is infinite, unchanging and indivisible.
3. If the cosmos is indivisible; everything that we might consider as a part of the cosmos, is the cosmos.
4. The Universe (that which we perceive as starting at the BB) is “embedded” in the cosmos.

By the above reasoning, we must say that the Universe “is the cosmos”.
The only way in which this reasoning could be logically consistent would be if the Universe were a “shadow” of the cosmos.  (Think of the analogy of the people in a cave who could see only shadows on the wall).
Time, change and progression are features of this “shadow” reality.  They have meaning only in our perceived Universe.
It might be argued, from this, that our Universe is an illusion, but this has no real significance, because this illusion, is our reality.  It is all we are able to observe and study.  This, of course, is where we would re-introduce maths; and start questioning the initial statements.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: flummoxed on 11/09/2019 15:30:29
By the above reasoning, we must say that the Universe “is the cosmos”.
The only way in which this reasoning could be logically consistent would be if the Universe were a “shadow” of the cosmos.  (Think of the analogy of the people in a cave who could see only shadows on the wall).
Time, change and progression are features of this “shadow” reality.  They have meaning only in our perceived Universe.

I accept your definition that the entire physical universe is this cosmos, it follows that the observable universe is a part of the cosmos. How does this reasoning lead to an illusion.

The analogy to shadows on wall implies 3 or more dimensions, being projected onto a 2D surface. Dimensions dont have to be spacial, take maybe time for instance, or maybe membranes or worm holes through space time. How would they appear reflected on a wall??

Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 11/09/2019 20:30:45
Quote
Start be assuming that statements 1 – 4 are correct.  Their veracity can be demolished later!

I'm not suggesting that anyone should actually accept these statements, other than as a test of the logic, IF they were correct.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 12/09/2019 00:27:33
Start be assuming that statements 1 – 4 are correct.  Their veracity can be demolished later!

For the moment, forget about mathematics, we can come to that later.

1. Something must always have existed.  Let’s call that “something” the cosmos.
2. The cosmos (everything that is, or ever can be) is infinite, unchanging and indivisible.
3. If the cosmos is indivisible; everything that we might consider as a part of the cosmos, is the cosmos.
4. The Universe (that which we perceive as starting at the BB) is “embedded” in the cosmos.
I will ignore the fact that I have issues with the statements.
1 and 2 seem mutually contradictory.  1 defines cosmos not as 'all there is', but as something that has always existed, implying my mailbox is not part of the cosmos because it was created only 8 years ago.  I think #1 just needs to be worded more carefully.

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By the above reasoning, we must say that the Universe “is the cosmos”.
The only way in which this reasoning could be logically consistent would be if the Universe were a “shadow” of the cosmos.  (Think of the analogy of the people in a cave who could see only shadows on the wall).
Time, change and progression are features of this “shadow” reality.  They have meaning only in our perceived Universe.
If time is a feature of this shadow reality, then time is not fundamental to the cosmos, in which case point 1 cannot have a reference to time.  By the usage of past tense, you imply a statement that there is not a time in which this thing did not exist, but if time is only part of the shadow reality started at the BB, then it is meaningless to reference times of the existence of the cosmos.  It's like drawing a graph on a computer screen and then asking for the x/y coordinates of the computer on that graph.

BTW, I've never seen 'cosmos' used as a synonym for a container for the universe.  I'm more likely to see universe as the container, and say 'inflation bubble' as all that 'started' and continues from the big bang.  Inflation bubble is still arbitrarily larger than 'visible universe'.  I'm fine with the nonstandard terminology, but find it unintuitive.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: RobC on 12/09/2019 09:12:31
I recollect the words of John Wheeler, he concluded:

Can we ever expect to understand existence?
Clues we have and work to do, to make headway on that issue.

Surely someday, we will grasp the central idea of it all as so simple, so beautiful, so compelling that we will all say to each other, “Oh, how could it have been otherwise! How could we all have been so blind so long”!

Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 13/09/2019 14:05:33
Quote from: Flummoxed
I accept your definition that the entire physical universe is this cosmos, it follows that the observable universe is a part of the cosmos. How does this reasoning lead to an illusion.

Try “accepting”:  2. “The cosmos (everything that is, or ever can be) is infinite, unchanging and indivisible.”
Think about the unchanging and indivisible aspect of the cosmos, and compare that with the obviously changing and divisible nature of the Universe.  Then ask how one could be “part” of the other.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Colin2B on 13/09/2019 15:13:10
Try “accepting”:  2. “The cosmos (everything that is, or ever can be) is infinite, unchanging and indivisible.”
Think about the unchanging and indivisible aspect of the cosmos, and compare that with the obviously changing and divisible nature of the Universe.  Then ask how one could be “part” of the other.
So you’re saying that people, plants, planets etc can’t be part of the ‘cosmos’ because they change?

Why do you think the ‘cosmos’ you’ve defined is unchanging? Experience says otherwise.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 13/09/2019 16:06:02
Quote from: HalC
I will ignore the fact that I have issues with the statements.

Thanks for doing that.  I have issues with the statements, as well.  Over a considerable number of years, I’ve reached a degree of satisfaction with a lot of these, but there are still a few to go. That’s what I’m trying to work on now.

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.  I think #1 just needs to be worded more carefully

I would be very happy to consider rewording (I’ve done it several times, already) as long as the meaning remains, essentially, the same.  Is it “Something must always have existed” that causes problems? 
The concept it is meant to convey is:  There can never have been “nothing”, therefore, there must always have been “something”.  Do you have issues with that?
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 13/09/2019 16:43:40
Quote from: Colin
Why do you think the ‘cosmos’ you’ve defined is unchanging? Experience says otherwise.

I think (hope) we may be working towards that, but, if not, don't let me overlook it.  It's an important point, but can lead down a lot of "blind alleys". 
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 13/09/2019 16:57:22
Quote from: RobC
Surely someday, we will grasp the central idea of it all as so simple, so beautiful, so compelling that we will all say to each other, “Oh, how could it have been otherwise! How could we all have been so blind so long”!


Good thought, but I think I can confidently predict that I’ll not be around to see it. :)
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 13/09/2019 20:27:16
Quote
.  I think #1 just needs to be worded more carefully
I would be very happy to consider rewording (I’ve done it several times, already) as long as the meaning remains, essentially, the same.  Is it “Something must always have existed” that causes problems?
That wording makes it sound like the cosmos is just one of a collection of things, one that has always existed, unlike some of the others.
This contrasted with number 2 that defined cosmos differently, as 'all that is', precluding these other things.

The change of verb tense is also inconsistent between the two.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 14/09/2019 12:26:36
Quote from: HalC
By the usage of past tense, you imply a statement that there is not a time in which this thing did not exist, but if time is only part of the shadow reality started at the BB, then it is meaningless to reference times of the existence of the cosmos.


Nice one, HalC!  You’ve hit the two problems that so often lead to circular arguments that never go anywhere.

Problem 1:  The only language we have in which to talk about infinity, is our finite-based language. 

Problem 2:  If the cosmos is changeless and indivisible; how can the changing Universe be part of it?  More fundamentally, how can anything be part of it, if it is indivisible?

Does problem 2 equate, in any way, to the reasoning in your quote, above?

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1 and 2 seem mutually contradictory.  1 defines cosmos not as 'all there is', but as something that has always existed, implying my mailbox is not part of the cosmos because it was created only 8 years ago.

I think this is a matter of interpretation. 1 asserts that there must always have been something.  2 qualifies this by saying something about this “eternal something”.  Neither implies that your mailbox is not part of the cosmos.

Of course, using any tense, other than the “present indicative”, when referring to eternity is inappropriate, but just saying “Something is”, might well be interpreted as being different from saying “Something has always existed”.  Any suggestions for de-confusing it?

I’m not a great fan of John Gribbin, but I find that his terminology, in this case, can be useful, reduce verbosity.

Cosmos = everything that exists, or can exist.
Universe = our (in principle) observable portion of spacetime and its contents.
universe = any other universe that may, or may not, exist.

See https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=73511.msg548859#msg548859 #107.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 14/09/2019 16:38:01
Quote from: HalC
By the usage of past tense, you imply a statement that there is not a time in which this thing did not exist, but if time is only part of the shadow reality started at the BB, then it is meaningless to reference times of the existence of the cosmos.

Nice one, HalC!  You’ve hit the two problems that so often lead to circular arguments that never go anywhere.

Problem 1:  The only language we have in which to talk about infinity, is our finite-based language.
The mixing of tenses is unrelated to discussions about infinity.  There is a language for it, but it needs to be used correctly.  So saying that the 'cosmos is infinite' is a vague statement that there is some property of said cosmos that is not bounded, but without identification of the property in question.

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Problem 2:  If the cosmos is changeless and indivisible; how can the changing Universe be part of it?  More fundamentally, how can anything be part of it, if it is indivisible?
Yes, your prior posts identified this problem.
 The statement asserts both that the cosmos exists in time and that it is in identical state at any pair of different times.  I find both assertions hard to defend, but you said not to worry about the veracity of the statements, so I didn't comment on it.  That problem is easily solved by putting time in the structure and not the structure in time.  The latter violates the cosmos being all there is: The cosmos and time are two things.  Three if you posit space that it occupies.

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Does problem 2 equate, in any way, to the reasoning in your quote, above?
I think so yes.  Your problem 2 used wording implying time as a container for 'comsos', and my problem that you quote above talks about exactly that as well.  If cosmos is all there is, it cannot be in a container. Can't have it both ways, or you'll just keep running into these contradictions.

Mind you, I think I've found a solution to all these problems, but it's kind of a long journey where you need to choose compatible interpretations of time, mind, QM, and identity.  Don't need to understand them all, but you need to be aware of their respective implications.

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1 and 2 seem mutually contradictory.  1 defines cosmos not as 'all there is', but as something that has always existed, implying my mailbox is not part of the cosmos because it was created only 8 years ago.
I think this is a matter of interpretation. 1 asserts that there must always have been something.  2 qualifies this by saying something about this “eternal something”.  Neither implies that your mailbox is not part of the cosmos.
By 'eternal', do you mean 'for all of time' (the cosmos being contained in unbounded time), or do you mean eternalism/block-universe/time being part of (contained by) the cosmos or parts of it?
If the former, you're on your own, because it demotes cosmos to an object within a larger thing.
If the latter, you cannot meaningfully use tensed verbs when discussing things, which is why I jumped all over the switching of verb tense.

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Of course, using any tense, other than the “present indicative”, when referring to eternity is inappropriate, but just saying “Something is”, might well be interpreted as being different from saying “Something has always existed”.  Any suggestions for de-confusing it?
I say 'something is'.  Giving a reference to a preferred moment in time that doesn't exist under the view always leads to confusion.  There is no 'the past' in the view, so the dinosaurs exist as much as anything.  They're not in a state of 'existed', except in a relation to a specifically identified time in their future.

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Cosmos = everything that exists, or can exist.
Universe = our (in principle) observable portion of spacetime and its contents.
universe = any other universe that may, or may not, exist.
As for Universe, the line isn't very abrupt.  It sort of fades away.  Sure, we have theoretical information on stuff 45 BLY away (depending how you measure it), but that doesn't mean planet X exists just because it's within that radius. Not if we cannot have knowledge of it. This gets into the sort of issues that come up with QM interpretations.  Some of them very much do say that X exists, despite our lack of knowledge of it.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 14/09/2019 18:00:30
Thanks for that interesting post. There’s a lot in it I would like to return to, but time’s short. 

I must comment on one point, though.

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By 'eternal', do you mean 'for all of time' (the cosmos being contained in unbounded time),

No! Eternity is not time.  The cosmos is not contained in anything.  In what way does "eternal" imply containment in anything?

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If the former, you're on your own, because it demotes cosmos to an object within a larger thing.

I would be interested to see the process by which you reach that conclusion.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 14/09/2019 19:56:44
Quote
By 'eternal', do you mean 'for all of time' (the cosmos being contained in unbounded time),
No! Eternity is not time.  The cosmos is not contained in anything.
Good.  Just checking.

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If the former, you're on your own, because it demotes cosmos to an object within a larger thing.
I would be interested to see the process by which you reach that conclusion.
Everyone uses language for objects (the only things we know) to describe things which are not in the category of objects.  Objects are 'created' and usually have a finite span of time and space in which they exist.  So to pick one (me), there are points in time which are not simultaneous with any event at which I am present.  Thus I am not not eternal (by the first definition, which you're not using).  I can use tensed language with reference to myself: Before me, during me, after me. 'I have always existed' is false regardless of the selected 'present' moment with which such syntax relates.
Objects are members of a set, but the set is not a member of the set. Objects are thus 'contained' by the set.  They're existing members of it. Thus it makes no sense to use such syntax to non-objects like 'cosmos'.  To use such language implies its membership in a larger set, one with the cosmos as a member, even if the only member.

Hence I have a real problem with statements like 'the cosmos exists' because that language implies membership of 'cosmos' in a larger set of things that exist.  This paradox vanishes if 'exists' is a relation (between object and set) instead of a property.  My mailbox thus doesn't have the property of existence.  What is has is the relation of existence with the cosmos.  The cosmos contains my mailbox.  Almost everything is a relation to me.  It seems free of contradictions, even if it isn't entirely intuitive.  I had to discard what turned out to be several basic biases I held, some of which I still believe despite knowing them to be false. Proof that the rational side of me is not in charge I guess.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 14/09/2019 20:48:24
Are you a physicist?  :)

https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=65009.msg475694#msg475694      #5
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 15/09/2019 01:36:24
Are you a physicist?  :)
Well, my answer is not absolutely right, since it's philosophy, not physics, being discussed. You've been asking philosophical questions in this thread. Those sorts of answers are consistent or not, but they're not right or wrong.

If you find my post totally useless, just say so and I'll be on my way.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 15/09/2019 02:07:39
Quote from: Halc
If you find my post totally useless, just say so and I'll be on my way.

On the contrary; I find your answers interesting and informative.  I really appreciate the time and effort you devote to addressing my foibles.  In the same way that one might pass a humorous remark to/about a friend, that one would not pass about a relative stranger; I would not have made a joke about someone whose input I didn’t value.  I look forward to returning to more points from your contributions, and hope I have not put you off responding.


Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 15/09/2019 02:43:42
I liked the joke.

My reply was not totally in jest.  While some of the fallacies in thinking were pointed out, in the end the answer I gave is merely one I find consistent and relatively lacking in problems (like something coming from nothing).  But it was meant as a real disclaimer: I lay no claim that there are not other very different answers to the problems. I've just never found any others that worked as well.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 15/09/2019 17:10:44
Quote from: Halc
Well, my answer is not absolutely right, since it's philosophy, not physics, being discussed. You've been asking philosophical questions in this thread. Those sorts of answers are consistent or not, but they're not right or wrong.

You have a knack of putting a finger on problems.  Most people seem to regard this type of discussion as philosophical, and often dismiss it, as a result. (Thanks for not doing that). However, I have to wonder if looking for the possible origin of the Universe is, actually, philosophy.  Consider two questions.
 
1. Why is there something, rather than nothing?

2.  How can there be something, rather than nothing?

Sean Carroll asked Q1, and attempted a “physical” answer; but I would consider this to be philosophy.

Q2, on the other hand, asks for a “mechanism that would explain the obvious existence of “something”.  Surely, this is physics.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: RobC on 15/09/2019 18:40:29
Sidney Morgenbesser, his professor at Columbia, said to Jim Holt "even if there was nothing you still would not be satisfied".
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 16/09/2019 00:36:40
I have to wonder if looking for the possible origin of the Universe is, actually, philosophy.  Consider two questions.
 
1. Why is there something, rather than nothing?

2.  How can there be something, rather than nothing?

Sean Carroll asked Q1, and attempted a “physical” answer; but I would consider this to be philosophy.

Q2, on the other hand, asks for a “mechanism that would explain the obvious existence of “something”.  Surely, this is physics.
Your two question seem like the same thing to me.  Maybe I parse it differently.
I'd like to see Carroll's response to it if you have a link.  He usually does more of the physics answer: the mechanism behind what prompted the big bang. I have very little understanding of the various theories involved, and without a unified field theory, no real guidance as to which of them actually makes sense.  The all seem to have in common some greater field out of which separate bubbles of spacetime emerge, our own (that which started at the big bang) being one of them.

All these theories aside, none of them address the question of how/why there is something in the first place. It's a realist question, and a serious fault in realism because there never seems to be a satisfactory answer to it. Positing a god doesn't help at all since no god can create the cosmos, since the cosmos is everything, including the god. The deity answer is a realist one, and suffers the same problem as any realist position. For this reason, I abandoned realism some time back.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 16/09/2019 03:07:19
Why answers questions about reason. How answers questions about mechanism/method.

Consider: "How are cars built?" and "Why are cars built?"

Link to Sean's article:

 https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2018/02/08/why-is-there-something-rather-than-nothing-2/
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 16/09/2019 13:02:33
Why answers questions about reason. How answers questions about mechanism/method.

Consider: "How are cars built?" and "Why are cars built?"

Link to Sean's article:

 https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2018/02/08/why-is-there-something-rather-than-nothing-2/
He answers the physics question of the mechanism of the origin of the big bang, and only to say there is one, and to say it is a metaphysical mistake to use language that assumes a defined arrow of time when speaking of the physics outside our spacetime.

I see zero comments in that article that address the title.  He discusses the 'origin' of our universe, but not of what you're calling the cosmos.  He says it is a mistake to take our local experience of an arrow of time (what he calls 'metaphysical baggage') into the realm from which the big bang emerged, so there is no meaningful direction that is towards the 'beginning' of it, hence no obvious cause-effect relationship between two states, and hence no obvious first event that lacks a cause.  I agree with all that.  But none of it explains the existence of the structure in the first place vs the lack of its existence.  That's the part I think we're discussing.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: alancalverd on 16/09/2019 14:40:18
"Why" presumes, or at least looks for, an ulterior motive or primary driver outside of the action being observed. When that action is "everything we can observe", you clearly aren't going to find a cause.

However everything we can observe, i.e. the Observable Universe, is not necessarily everything there is. Schwarzchild places a limit on the radius of the observable part of the universe, but not on everything that might exist.

Now we have two competing gravitational phenomena. At shortish distances, stuff tends to coalesce into galaxies and so forth, but if the universe is actually infinite, the stuff outside our observable radius is pulling the fringes outwards whilst the stuff inside is condensing into discrete chunks. So whilst the OU in its present form of accreting masses may well have begun with a big bang, that itself may have been caused by the coalescence of a previous OU into a black hole that was unstable in the gravitational field of everything else, or collided with another giant black hole.

So here's a difference between science and religion. I'm pretty sure there is stuff out there that I can't observe, but has played a part in my history and will play a part in my future, but I don't ascribe any motives to it, only a presumption that it behaves pretty much in the same way as the stuff I can see until proven otherwise. That's science, and in this case it suggests "how". 
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 16/09/2019 18:28:57
Quote from: Halc
He says it is a mistake to take our local experience of an arrow of time (what he calls 'metaphysical baggage') into the realm from which the big bang emerged,

I’m not comfortable with calling our experience of time “metaphysical baggage” but “who am I to blow against the wind?”  However, extrapolating it to argue that there was time before the BB can lead to problems.

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  so there is no meaningful direction that is towards the 'beginning' of it, hence no obvious cause-effect relationship between two states, and hence no obvious first event that lacks a cause.

 I, too, agree with that; but it needs some qualifying if it is to explain the existence of the Universe. 
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 16/09/2019 20:07:16
I’m not comfortable with calling our experience of time “metaphysical baggage” but “who am I to blow against the wind?”  However, extrapolating it to argue that there was time before the BB can lead to problems.
You cannot use comfortable terms to describe something that completely different than the environment in which we find ourselves.  Yes, there is time of sorts (possibly more than one dimension of it) outside the BB, but it isn't 'ordered' like it is here, so there is no 'before' and 'after' relation between events, and asking how it 'started' implies an ordering that is not there, and also a bound that has no reason to be there either.

I lay no claim to knowledge about that realm since such knowledge doesn't help answer the main problem I see.  My thinking is simpler than that.

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but it needs some qualifying if it is to explain the existence of the Universe.
That answer isn't found in there, which is why I've not explored it in depth.  Carroll did not answer the question in his title.  He just said there wasn't an obvious 'first cause' way over at one end that needs to be explained.  The whole thing needs to be explained, and he's right about that.  But he didn't actually address the question.

I reduced the question to 'why is the <cosmos> real?', and found no answer anywhere.  I thus abandoned my realist philosophy that I had held for quite some time. There are better alternatives.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 17/09/2019 01:34:53
Quote from: Alan
That's science, and in this case it suggests "how".

Agreed.  How would you be with extending that to saying that studying the contents/structure of the OU, in an attempt to adduce its provenance, would be “science”?
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 17/09/2019 02:21:38
... studying the contents/structure of the OU, in an attempt to adduce its provenance
That part is figured out.  The BB represents said provenance of said OU, and plenty more that's not observable.

I'm pretty sure there is stuff out there that I can't observe, but has played a part in my history and will play a part in my future, but I don't ascribe any motives to it, only a presumption that it behaves pretty much in the same way as the stuff I can see until proven otherwise.
This is true for stuff too distant to observe.  Were you to observe it, it would appear/behave pretty much like it does here.  There is little to no reason this should be true outside our bubble of spacetime.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 17/09/2019 13:55:07
“There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now.”  Attributed (possibly apocryphally) to Lord Kelvin.

“.........the laws of physics underlying everyday life are completely understood.”  Sean Carroll.

“That part is figured out.”  Halc.

Eat your heart out, Nostradamus!  :)
 
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 17/09/2019 14:05:24
Seriously, though: the laws of physics take us back to a fraction of a second after the BB; maths provides us with our best tool for understanding these laws; but, unless I’ve missed something vital, neither actually tells us how we could we can be here.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: alancalverd on 17/09/2019 14:57:40
The presumption, as Halc says, is that the unobservable part of the universe (i.e. pretty much all of it) behaves the same as the observable part. Then by any reasonable definition of "infinite", the Big Bang and all its trivial and evanescent consequences (including us) was just one inevitable incident in a conservative continuum.

Or to put it simply, we're here because we are.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 17/09/2019 16:34:05
Quote from: Alan
Then by any reasonable definition of "infinite", the Big Bang and all its trivial and evanescent consequences (including us) was just one inevitable incident in a conservative continuum.

That’s fine, but it doesn’t address the question of how the “continuum” could exist. 

Is there a law of physics that says: there must always have been “something?
If so, is there a law that says it must be a continuum?
If so, is there a law that deals, effectively, with infinite regression?

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Or to put it simply, we're here because we are.

Straightforward statement of the Anthropomorphic Principle, but still misses the main point.

Stay with me, Alan (& Halc), there could be light on the horizon.

That’s not detracting from the valuable input of others, but Halc & Alan look like staying the course.  Brave!
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: alancalverd on 17/09/2019 18:22:32
The laws of physics are simply the mathematical relationships we discover that rationalise what we know and predict what we might see. I don't see any disjoint between an infinite and fundamentally unchanging universe with occasional hiccups, and the laws that we have invented to describe our present hiccup.

"We're here because we are" is surely the diametric opposite of the anthropic principle, which states that everything else is there in order for us to be here. Seeing the universe, or even this tiny corner of it,  as constructed for Man, is vanity. Seeing  Man as a transient blip in the universe, is science. Remember that Goldilocks invaded  the Three Bears' house, which was actually built for the bears, not G-lox.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 17/09/2019 19:23:24
Quote
"We're here because we are" is surely the diametric opposite of the anthropic principle, which states that everything else is there in order for us to be here.

I was thinking of the “weak” version, which simply holds that the current Universe must be as it is to allow the existence of intelligent observers. IMO, the “strong” version is thinly disguised theology.

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I don't see any disjoint between an infinite and fundamentally unchanging universe with occasional hiccups,
 

This must depend on what you mean by “fundamentally”.  If you mean that an infinite universe is usually unchanging, but not always, I have a serious problem with that. 

If you mean that “unchangingness” is an essential feature of the universe; then, how can “hiccups” occur?

I agree, entirely, with the rest of #79.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 17/09/2019 19:41:09
That’s fine, but it doesn’t address the question of how the “continuum” could exist.
I understand what you're asking, and no, none of the immediate above discussion touches on it.  Physics is not in the business of answering such things.

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Is there a law of physics that says: there must always have been “something?
No, not at all. It's just not a physics/science question, despite all the diversions in that direction for the last several posts. The answer needs to be compatible with physics, but it isn't going to come from there. Try logic instead.

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Straightforward statement of the Anthropomorphic Principle, but still misses the main point.
Anthropic principle (weak) explains why the tuning is so nice (refuting teleological argument), but it has nothing to do with why there is something.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 17/09/2019 20:08:39
Quote
I understand what you're asking, and no, none of the immediate above discussion touches on it.  Physics is not in

It sounds as though you are saying that physics studies the Universe/cosmos, but is not interested in looking at any possible mechanism that might explain the existence of the Universe/cosmos. 

That seems a bit like studying the internal combustion engine, but refusing to consider manufacturing issues. 

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Anthropic principle (weak) explains why the tuning is so nice (refuting teleological argument), but it has nothing to do with why there is something.

Point taken.  I could agree, entirely, if you changed the second “why” to “how”.  Never did really like the AP.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: alancalverd on 17/09/2019 22:48:48
If you mean that “unchangingness” is an essential feature of the universe; then, how can “hiccups” occur?
Long term, a bucket of water is a bucket of water, but we can detect transient local order with the formation of various polymers and voronoi polyhedra. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voronoi_diagram  is the seed of an idea about evanescent order in an infinite universe, but I haven't developed it formally.

You can also get some insight from Hawking's "Black holes and baby universes" where local creation and re-creation occur in an infinite matrix of bits of stuff.

If you like the idea of every particle having an antiparticle then you can imagine the instantaneous creation ex nihilo of a universe and its effective mirror image with a sum energy of zero, but these are more exotic than "everyday" antiparticles because for a zero sum, they must have negative mass. Let's call them negaticles. Where does that take us? Intriguingly, if two particles with positive mass are gravitationally attracted to one another (experimental observation!) then we might expect a particle and a negaticle to repel (hypothesis). Perhaps what is causing the expansion of the observable universe is the intervening negaticles, which themselves are clumping together.... So we can devise an OU with a beginning and possibly an end, derived instantaneously from nothing at all. Mad speculation, but remember you read it here first, and it is in principle open to investigation (science)!
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 18/09/2019 01:04:02
Quote
I understand what you're asking, and no, none of the immediate above discussion touches on it.  Physics is not in
I finished that sentence in an edit above.

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It sounds as though you are saying that physics studies the Universe/cosmos, but is not interested in looking at any possible mechanism that might explain the existence of the Universe/cosmos.
There can't be a 'mechanism'.  If there was one (like Carroll is describing a mechanism for our big bang), then it is part of the cosmos, and needs to explain itself. That's the problem with saying God did it. Doesn't explain why there is a god and not no-god. It doesn't matter if the 'cosmos' had some sort of edge that can be designated as 'first', or it 'was always there', Neither case explains its existence vs its nonexistence.

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That seems a bit like studying the internal combustion engine, but refusing to consider manufacturing issues.
That's a physics question.  What caused this internal combusion engine?  Such a thing is an object, not a cosmos, and objects have creation mechanisms that are separate from the object.  I have such a mechanism.  The cosmos cannot, by definition.

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I could agree, entirely, if you changed the second “why” to “how”.  Never did really like the AP.
Don't care what work you choose.  I said I know what you're asking.

If find that most questions like that are begging a set of biases, and the first thing is to identify those biases.
For instance, the second big question that drove me nuts for years was "Why am I me".  It also was begging an assumption that there was an 'I' that sort of won a lottery and got to be something pretty awesome like 'me' and not something far more likely but lame like a bug or a dust mote.  That's a hard bias to drop, but the question wasn't baffling anymore once I did it.  The same process needs to take place with "why is there something".
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: alancalverd on 18/09/2019 07:37:58
"The universe must be as it is to allow the existence of an intelligent observer" seems like a good summary of weak anthropism but it is frankly meaningless or vanity.

If the universe were not as it is, we would not be as we are, but there is no reason to dismiss the possibility of even a marginally different universe in which some Martian pointed his tentacle at the sky and said "I wonder what's going on up there? And why isn't that big planet with one moon blue and covered with octopus, like ours?" Indeed there is every reason to think it may have happened, when the universe was not as it is now. 

The alternative interpretation is an active rendering of "must be", suggesting that the diameter of the ninth planet from the third sun in Klingon Minor, 3 billion light years away, is critical to the evolution of life on earth, which is straining the credulity a bit, especially if you like the idea of a Creator who could just say "let there be light" and avoid all the complexities of physics and chemistry.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 18/09/2019 12:36:00
There’s some fascinating and educational stuff in this thread, the last three posts being good examples.  Just need the time to read them properly, and let the ideas percolate before I try to respond.

Just an aside: I’ve made numerous attempts to get this sort of discussion going; then along comes a first timer and hits the jackpot.  Thanks Akabiz, I hope you’re enjoying this. :)
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 19/09/2019 15:01:44
Quote from: Alan
Long term, a bucket of water is a bucket of water, but we can detect transient local order with the formation of various polymers and voronoi polyhedra. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voronoi_diagram  is the seed of an idea about evanescent order in an infinite universe, but I haven't developed it formally.

Voronoi diagrams have come a long way since the identification of a source of cholera, and I don’t pretend to understand the maths, but “evanescent order in an infinite universe” is possible only if you treat infinity as a number.  Order requires separation and distinction. This is possible, only if infinity is divisible. How do you divide something that is not numerical? 
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 19/09/2019 17:47:46
Quote from: Alan
If you like the idea of every particle having an antiparticle then you can imagine the instantaneous creation ex nihilo of a universe and its effective mirror image with a sum energy of zero,

My Latin may have been rusting for approaching 50 yrs, but I still think “ex nililo” means “from nothing”.   Wouldn’t you say that particles and antiparticles were “something”?  Don’t they have to exist in order to bring about this wondrous creation?
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 19/09/2019 19:21:38
Quote from: Alan
If you like the idea of every particle having an antiparticle then you can imagine the instantaneous creation ex nihilo of a universe and its effective mirror image with a sum energy of zero,

My Latin may have been rusting for approaching 50 yrs, but I still think “ex nililo” means “from nothing”.   Wouldn’t you say that particles and antiparticles were “something”?  Don’t they have to exist in order to bring about this wondrous creation?
It also requires positive energy to create a particle/antiparticle pair.  Antimatter doesn't have negative energy.  Graviational potential energy is negative, which is why the big bang doesn't seem to violate energy conservation, but yes Bill, it still isn't something from nothing, even if the total sum of mass in the universe is zero.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: alancalverd on 19/09/2019 22:37:55
I wasn't talking about conventional everyday antiparticles! Negaticles are hypothetical particles with negative mass but otherwise identical properties to normicles like electrons and positrons.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: alancalverd on 19/09/2019 22:40:43
How do you divide something that is not numerical? 
We've discussed this elsewhere. A denumerable infinity already contains divisions, and an infinite continuum can be sliced as easily as any cake, but many more times.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 19/09/2019 23:24:01
I wasn't talking about conventional everyday antiparticles! Negaticles are hypothetical particles with negative mass but otherwise identical properties to normicles like electrons and positrons.
They have asymmetric properties with normal mass, so not identical.  Given a ball of each, one could tell which was which.  Given two identical masses exerting gravity on each other, both objects will accelerate in the direction of the positive mass.  I tried to follow the proof that this sort of thing violated conservation laws, but could not.  Reactionless thrust!  Anyway, perhaps there is a contradiction, but negative mass does indeed seem to be a valid solution to the equations.
A negative mass planet would not hold itself together by gravity, so a universe of it would hardly be a mirror of this one.

This topic deserves its own thread since there so much fun to it.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 23/09/2019 11:52:17
Lengthy threads, like this, are inclined to drift, then fizzle out without anyone even attempting to pull the ideas together.  The OP is probably the best person to do this, but I think I’ve hijacked the thread, and have certainly learned from it, so, hopefully Akabiz won’t mind if I try some “pulling together”.

I’m struggling to find time to stay in discussions, so am aiming for some sort of “resolution”.

Long posts tend to attract answers/comments relating to specific points, only, ignoring other, possibly relevant, points.  I’m going to try the “one step at a time” approach. 

First, three questions, with suggested answers; and an invitation to anyone who disagrees to say so/why.  I know these questions have been asked before and will probably be asked again, but, hopefully, not by me.

1. Is infinity a number? 
    No.

2. Is eternity a length of time? 
    No.

3. To what extent is infinity/eternity amenable to mathematical manipulation?   
    Only in so far as it can be manipulated in time.  E.g. An “infinite” sequence can be defined, and manipulated, only in the context of time. 
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 23/09/2019 15:11:28
Lengthy threads, like this, are inclined to drift, then fizzle out without anyone even attempting to pull the ideas together.  The OP is probably the best person to do this, but I think I’ve hijacked the thread, and have certainly learned from it, so, hopefully Akabiz won’t mind if I try some “pulling together”.
Akabiz seems to have moved on.  It's kind of your discussion at this point.

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First, three questions, with suggested answers; and an invitation to anyone who disagrees to say so/why.  I know these questions have been asked before and will probably be asked again, but, hopefully, not by me.

1. Is infinity a number? 
    No.

2. Is eternity a length of time? 
    No.
Effectively the same question as #1.  'Eternal' has multiple meanings, only one of which is 'for all eternity', i.e. 'for an unbounded amount of time'.  I tend not to mean that when I use the term eternal.  I take the meaning from 'eternalism' which essentially 'outside of time'.

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3. To what extent is infinity/eternity amenable to mathematical manipulation?   
    Only in so far as it can be manipulated in time.  E.g. An “infinite” sequence can be defined, and manipulated, only in the context of time.
There is a lot of mathematics on the subject.  Just because you can't meaningfully add three to it doesn't mean it is not amenable to mathematical manipulation.  Hilbert's infinite hotel is a great example of the sort of manipulation that can be done in this area.

All that said, I find discussion of infinity to be off-track to a discussion of why not nothing.  Even those that posit infinite past (lack of first cause) have no explanation for its being there vs it not being there.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: alancalverd on 23/09/2019 15:28:36
A negative mass planet would not hold itself together by gravity, so a universe of it would hardly be a mirror of this one.
Ah, but it would, since negative masses have negative gravity.  -1 x -1 = 1

My use of "identical" was a bit loose. What I meant was a complementary universe of negaleptons and negahadrons with charge, spin etc  the same as their observed counterparts, but with negative mass.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 23/09/2019 18:23:45
Quote from: Halc
  'Eternal' has multiple meanings, only one of which is 'for all eternity'…

Colloquial usage aside, what else could “eternal” mean?

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  i.e. 'for an unbounded amount of time'.

From the fact that you didn’t object to my answer to Q2, I assumed you agreed that eternity is not a length of time.  It seems my assumption was wrong.   Perhaps you would clarify this.

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I take the meaning from 'eternalism' which essentially 'outside of time'.

Could be I’m having a “senior moment”, but I am finding it hard to equate 'for an unbounded amount of time' with 'outside of time'.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 23/09/2019 19:40:22
A negative mass planet would not hold itself together by gravity, so a universe of it would hardly be a mirror of this one.
Ah, but it would, since negative masses have negative gravity.  -1 x -1 = 1
That function (F=GMm/r² for instance) computes force, not acceleration.  Yes, two negative masses exert positive (attraction) force on each other, but a negative mass accelerates in the opposite direction as the force applied to it.
F=ma, or a = F/m where F is positive but m and thus a are negative.  The physics of such a world would be quite different than the one we know, but I actually find it hard to identify a contradiction.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 25/09/2019 14:27:40
Just starting to pull some thought together, with obvious input from other posters.  I start with some of the problems of language.

Expressing the idea that there was never nothing is not as straightforward as it might seem at first glance.

Start with “there was never a time when there was nothing”, and reason that time is something, therefore, if there were nothing, any concept of time would be irrelevant.  This leaves: “There was never nothing”.
 
The past tense, implies a statement that there is not a time in which this “thing” did not exist, but if time is not part of infinity, it is meaningless to reference times in relation to the existence of the infinite cosmos.
Reasonable as that might be, “there is never nothing” seems distinctly odd.

Presumably, the true pedant would also take issue with “never”, on the grounds that it is an abbreviation of “not ever”, which implies passage of time.  Dispensing with “never” leaves us with “there is nothing”; which, manifestly, is not quite what is needed. 

Talking of a “mechanism” by which a finite universe might “emerge” from an infinite cosmos, is another minefield. If the cosmos is infinite/eternal, then no mechanism can operate in the cosmos, because there is no time in which any sort of operation can take place.

“Emerge” can also be cited as problematic.  The action of emergence involves change, and change requires time. 

All of these illustrate the ever-present language difficulty.  They also demonstrate the fact that it is very easy to adopt a pattern of thought that is so influenced by our, necessarily, 3+1D environment that it precludes a real appreciation of the infinite.

Perhaps the lesson to draw from this is that we have to make the best of our finite-based language, take care to be as precise as possible, and smile benignly at obfuscators. 

“You know what I mean, ‘Arry?” :)
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 25/09/2019 15:05:54
Start with “there was never a time when there was nothing”, and reason that time is something, therefore, if there were nothing, any concept of time would be irrelevant.  This leaves: “There was never nothing”.
Without something to change, time would be meaningless.  If you picture a sort of external time that flows along despite the lack of anything to change, then you still have time existing, which is something.  So it seems that asserting the opposite, that there was a time when there was nothing, is self contradictory.
 
As a relativist (as opposed to a realist), I don't think it makes syntactic sense to say a thing exists or not.  It exists relative to something else.  That's what the word means.  It means something like 'is a member of'.  So 'why is there something?' becomes 'why is something a member of something else?".

I find it obfuscating to complicate any of that with temporal references.  Sure, thing X can be a member of temporal thing Y between moments of creation and destruction and not at other times, but that seems needlessly more complex than just saying X is a member of Y.  So I (my perceived worldline) exist in (relative to) this world, but I don't exist in 1920 (a subset of this world).  My worldline isn't that long.  Since I have a finite duration in the temporal set Y (what I call 'this world'), I am a created thing.

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Presumably, the true pedant would also take issue with “never”, on the grounds that it is an abbreviation of “not ever”, which implies passage of time.
Disagree. The word implies a temporal ordering, but not passage. It just means 'at no time' but gives no implied reference to a present moment or flow.  It is only a valid reference to a temporal object/set, so it doesn't make sense to say "In the set of integers, 5 is never greater than 7" since the set of integers is not a temporal set.

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Talking of a “mechanism” by which a finite universe might “emerge” from an infinite cosmos, is another minefield. If the cosmos is infinite/eternal, then no mechanism can operate in the cosmos, because there is no time in which any sort of operation can take place.
The cosmos contains time, not the other way around.  Thus things can emerge within it since there are times without the thing (1920) and times with the thing (1990).  Emerge means there was a time when it wasn't present, and a subsequent time when it was.  An eternal temporal structure still has time, it just doesn't exist within that time. Time exists within it.

Cellular automata is a great example of such a structure. A lot of my modelling is based on such simple examples.

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“Emerge” can also be cited as problematic.  The action of emergence involves change, and change requires time.
Exactly so.  The state of the world in 1920 is not the same as the state in 1990, so there is change over time.

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Perhaps the lesson to draw from this is that we have to make the best of our finite-based language, take care to be as precise as possible, and smile benignly at obfuscators.
I try my best.  If you find my language above sort of awkward in places, it's because I'm trying to be as precise as possible.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: alancalverd on 25/09/2019 19:01:00
Yes, two negative masses exert positive (attraction) force on each other, but a negative mass accelerates in the opposite direction as the force applied to it.
So we can make a zero-energy universe by separating particles and negaticles in a big bang, and then the particles coalesce into atoms and galaxies, whilst the negaticles push them and themselves apart. Not bad, eh? We have an expanding observable universe driven by increasingly rareified unobservable dark negastuff which disperses along with the observable stuff, so it never stops expanding. All created ex nihilo and exactly as observed, with no need for an old man with a beard to make it happen.

Tomorrow, I think I'll fix Brexit, then explain the Marie Celeste after lunch.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 25/09/2019 19:32:08
Quote from: Halc
Without something to change, time would be meaningless.  If you picture a sort of external time that flows along despite the lack of anything to change, then you still have time existing, which is something.  So it seems that asserting the opposite, that there was a time when there was nothing, is self contradictory.

I think we agree, thus far.

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….. I don't think it makes syntactic sense to say a thing exists or not.  It exists relative to something else.  That's what the word means.

If the cosmos is infinite, and all that there is, there is nothing to which its existence can be relative.  By your definition, therefore, it doesn’t exist.  (?) 

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The word implies a temporal ordering, but not passage.

 
Quote from: https://www.google.com/search?q=never&oq=never&aqs=chrome..69i57.9317300j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
1. at no time in the past or future; not ever.

Perhaps life would be simpler if every word had a universally accepted definition, but the “inner poet” says: Boring!

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The cosmos contains time, not the other way around.

Where did I say that the cosmos is contained in time?  If I gave that impression, it was unintentional. 

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An eternal temporal structure still has time, it just doesn't exist within that time. Time exists within it.

Am I mis-interpreting this, or does it say that eternity is a length of time?

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I try my best.  If you find my language above sort of awkward in places, it's because I'm trying to be as precise as possible.

I’m sorry if you took my comment personally, it was certainly not meant that way.  As far as language goes, I’m always happy to have my usage challenged. How else does one continue learning?
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 25/09/2019 19:42:09
Quote from: Alan
Tomorrow, I think I'll fix Brexit, then explain the Marie Celeste after lunch.

What's the betting that you will find the crew of the Marie Celeste before you find those negative masses?
Fix Brexit!  Can I borrow your magic wand when you've done that?
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: alancalverd on 25/09/2019 23:15:30
Funnily enough, Parliament fixed Brexit three years ago.

Having agreed to abide by the result of the referendum, they then enacted a single law that preserved all existing laws and regulations until such time as they were individually amended or abolished. Thus we could have left the EU the next day, with no change in import tariffs, citizenship, or anything, and simply tweaked the regulations from time to time as the need or opportunity arose. This would have restored the sovereignty of parliament at a stroke, with negligible initial impact on anyone's life and no urgency to reform anything. In the event that the EU  imposed any unreasonable tariff on UK exports, it was entirely in the government's power to immediately ban the import of finished cars and thus destroy the euro (as the EU has just discovered this week), so any trade deals or reformed tariff structures could evolve ad hoc, with the UK negotiating from a position of strength.

Legal or not, BJ's prorogation would have ended the embarrassing and damaging party political sideshow and enacted the will of the majority without harm to anyone or anything (especially sterling). Who knows, Thomas Cook might have been able to pay its bills!

Relevance? Well, it helps to put some numbers to the problem. The number of negaticles that can fit on the head of a pin  cannot be less than the number of truly honorable members of parliament.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 26/09/2019 00:09:56

Quote from: Halc
I don't think it makes syntactic sense to say a thing exists or not.  It exists relative to something else.  That's what the word means.
If the cosmos is infinite, and all that there is, there is nothing to which its existence can be relative.  By your definition, therefore, it doesn’t exist.  (?) 
By my definition, saying it doesn't exist isn't a syntactically valid statement.  "The cosmos is not a member of."  Incomplete statement.  So no, I'm not saying that, and my definition has nothing to do with the set being infinite or not.  It works with the cosmos being finite as well.

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Quote
The word ['never'] implies a temporal ordering, but not passage.
Quote from: https://www.google.com/search?q=never&oq=never&aqs=chrome..69i57.9317300j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
1. at no time in the past or future; not ever.
That particular quote does reference a present, yes. It doesn't need to.

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Perhaps life would be simpler if every word had a universally accepted definition, but the “inner poet” says: Boring!
Then we'd need to make up new words for discussions like this since I'm not using everyday definitions of most terms here.

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The cosmos contains time, not the other way around.
Where did I say that the cosmos is contained in time?  If I gave that impression, it was unintentional.
Any suggestion of the universe being a created thing puts the created thing in time instead of the other way around that physics puts it.  Doesn't mean there isn't time outside the universe, but it isn't the time we know (measured in seconds and having an obvious direction to it).

Anyway, I said that because you said nothing can emerge in the universe, which is only true if there was no time, but there is.  Emergence of something is its presence at one time and lack of presence at a prior time.  The word implies an ordering, yes.  If there is no arrow, then there may be a thing during a finite span of time, but at neither end does it 'emerge' or 'disappear' since neither end is the obvious beginning or end to it.

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An eternal temporal structure still has time, it just doesn't exist within that time. Time exists within it.
Am I mis-interpreting this, or does it say that eternity is a length of time?
I didn't say eternity.  I said eternal structure, which is a structure with a temporal component (a structure that contains time), be the time dimension finite or infinite.  Infinite (unbounded) time is eternity.  We've no solid evidence that our time is not bounded at either end, so it is unclear if our universe has an eternity of time.  OK, it appears bounded in the 'past' direction, but that's just 'time as we know it'.

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I try my best.  If you find my language above sort of awkward in places, it's because I'm trying to be as precise as possible.
I’m sorry if you took my comment personally, it was certainly not meant that way.  As far as language goes, I’m always happy to have my usage challenged. How else does one continue learning?
I took nothing personally.  I had to say that because I want it clear that I'm trying to be as precise as I can. I'm not quoting somebody else's work here. I've not found a good reference to what I'm describing, which is sort of the extension of the relation interpretaton of QM (RQM, initially Rovelli, 1994) to cosmology and philosophy of mind.

I do my best to identify and question all biases I seem to hold, but some I am unable to give up.  Foremost, I reject any anthropocentric view of things.  If that's true, almost all of observation could be a lie and we've nothing empirical to go on.  Oddly enough, RQM replaces realism with a sort of non-mental idealism, which avoids all the solipsism that arises from a mind-realism view like philosophical idealism, which has other serious issues.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 26/09/2019 17:11:02
Quote from: Halc
By my definition, saying it doesn't exist isn't a syntactically valid statement.  "The cosmos is not a member of."  Incomplete statement.  So no, I'm not saying that, and my definition has nothing to do with the set being infinite or not.  It works with the cosmos being finite as well.

Your definition appears to imply that I am claiming that “The cosmos is not a member of." Something.  I make
no such claim. 

If you defend your position in terms of syntax, perhaps we should check your definition of “syntactically". I would define it as relating to the grammatical arrangement of words in a sentence.

I would define “exists” as, to have objective reality or being.

I lack the syntactical elasticity to convert “exists” into “is a member of”. 

Alan said at Re: Do we go round in circles?

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Infinity exists in the same way that God exists: it is a word that we use as we wish, to convey whatever is appropriate in context.

Yes we do go round in circles, and will continue to do so as long as we accept “ Humpty Dumpty” linguistics.
 
Quote from: Halc
Anyway, I said that because you said nothing can emerge in the universe,

Where did I say that?

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.  If there is no arrow, then there may be a thing during a finite span of time, but at neither end does it 'emerge' or 'disappear' since neither end is the obvious beginning or end to it

How do you define time that has no arrow?  What would be a “finite span” of such time? 

I know there’s more in your post, but I’m out of time.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 26/09/2019 19:33:15
Quote from: Halc
I didn't say eternity.  I said eternal structure, which is a structure with a temporal component …. Infinite (unbounded) time is eternity.
 

You distinguish between “eternity” and “eternal structure”.  Before we can look further at this we would need to know if you agree that eternity is not a length of time. 
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 27/09/2019 05:11:17
Quote from: Halc
By my definition, saying it doesn't exist isn't a syntactically valid statement.  "The cosmos is not a member of."  Incomplete statement.  So no, I'm not saying that, and my definition has nothing to do with the set being infinite or not.  It works with the cosmos being finite as well.
Your definition appears to imply that I am claiming that “The cosmos is not a member of." Something.  I make
no such claim. 
I know you made no such claim.  You're using a different definition of 'exist' when asking your question.  I'm saying the question goes away with my definition.

Platonic realism says that something like the number 13 (not the symbol or an instance, but 13 itself) exists.  A non-realist for number would say that abstract things like that are not real.  Using a relational definition of 'exist', I merely assert that 13 is an integer (more formally: 13 is a member of the set of integers), and asking how 13 comes to be real or not real are both meaningless queries since neither meaningless claim is made.

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I would define “exists” as, to have objective reality or being.
Right.  I define it differently.  We can use a different word if it helps, but the RQM view is not one of an objective reality, so nothing is a member of it.. Your definition leads to the unanswerable question of 'why does objective reality have something instead of not'. The relational view does not posit an objective reality that may or may not have anything.

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Infinity exists in the same way that God exists: it is a word that we use as we wish, to convey whatever is appropriate in context.
Yes we do go round in circles, and will continue to do so as long as we accept “ Humpty Dumpty” linguistics.
Don't know where you got that quote since it doesn't come from anywhere in this topic. It isn't mine.
 
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Quote from: Halc
Anyway, I said that because you said nothing can emerge in the universe,
Where did I say that?
Post 98 where you said "Talking of a “mechanism” by which a finite universe might “emerge” from an infinite cosmos, is another minefield. If the cosmos is infinite/eternal, then no mechanism can operate in the cosmos, because there is no time in which any sort of operation can take place."

You said cosmos, not universe.

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.  If there is no arrow, then there may be a thing during a finite span of time, but at neither end does it 'emerge' or 'disappear' since neither end is the obvious beginning or end to it
How do you define time that has no arrow?
Same as regular time, but no obvious direction that is past or future, or cause and effect.  Still measured in something regular like seconds or something, assuming something regular is going on.
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What would be a “finite span” of such time?
A finite span means it is terminated somewhere.  I personally think our time is finite in both directions (BB at one end, Big rip at the other), but it could also just fade away in heat death.  That's still an end to time of sorts because the direction is gone, and so is change and regularity.  There would be nothing to define a second anymore.  How is that not the end of time?  So our time seem finite in both directions, or seems to to me.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 28/09/2019 13:18:23
Quote from: Halc
Don't know where you got that quote since it doesn't come from anywhere in this topic. It isn't mine.

https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=76446.0      #8
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 28/09/2019 13:40:33
Quote from: Halc
Don't know where you got that quote since it doesn't come from anywhere in this topic. It isn't mine.
https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=76446.0      #8
OK, It's an Alan quote.  You even said that when you posted it.  I just didn't catch that connection.

Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 28/09/2019 13:42:49
Let’s look at two definitions of eternity.

1. Infinite or unending time.

2. A state to which time has no application; timelessness.

At first glance, these appear contradictory, but, “common usage by educated people” demonstrates that both are useful definitions, in different contexts.  Would you agree with that?

Could it be that differentiating between “eternity” and “eternal structure” conflates the two contexts?
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 28/09/2019 14:33:16
Let’s look at two definitions of eternity.

1. Infinite or unending time.

2. A state to which time has no application; timelessness.

At first glance, these appear contradictory, but, “common usage by educated people” demonstrates that both are useful definitions, in different contexts.  Would you agree with that?
Of course.  Didn't say otherwise.  But those are different meanings, and if ambiguous, it should be made clear which is meant in a statement.

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Could it be that differentiating between “eternity” and “eternal structure” conflates the two contexts?
I've used the latter term, by which I mean a structure whose existence is not relative to time.  It does not mean it isn't a temporal structure (one containing time).

So for instance the Mandlebrot set is an eternal structure, but not a temporal one.  It is essentially a 1 dimensional map in the complex plane.
This image depicts a cellular automata that's a nice example of a simple temporal eternal structure:
https://dsweb.siam.org/Portals/DSWeb/EasyDNNnews/1510/1510pi_pa_000001623.jpg

The set of all valid chess states is a wonderful example of a temporal eternal structure with a sort of Hilbert space, much like our own universe.  I've used that example on a number of occasions.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 28/09/2019 17:19:09
Quote from: Halc
Platonic realism says that something like the number 13 (not the symbol or an instance, but 13 itself) exists.  A non-realist for number would say that abstract things like that are not real.  Using a relational definition of 'exist', I merely assert that 13 is an integer (more formally: 13 is a member of the set of integers), and asking how 13 comes to be real or not real are both meaningless queries since neither meaningless claim is made.

Good sound philosophical thinking; but as one who tends towards pragmatism, I would say that “13” is a mathematical concept and “exists” as such.  Anyone who needs or wishes to explore to greater depths is welcome to do so. Given more time, I might enjoy joining in.   
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 28/09/2019 17:48:05
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Of course.  Didn't say otherwise.

Just checking.  My memory being what it is, I have to guard against quoting others as saying thing they didn’t say. :)

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  I've used the latter term, by which I mean a structure whose existence is not relative to time.  It does not mean it isn't a temporal structure (one containing time).

I see the distinction, but could you give an example, please.  I appreciate that you have given an example, at

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The set of all valid chess states is a wonderful example of a temporal eternal structure

But I’m not clear as to how that is “eternal”.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 28/09/2019 21:53:18
Good sound philosophical thinking; but as one who tends towards pragmatism, I would say that “13” is a mathematical concept and “exists” as such.  Anyone who needs or wishes to explore to greater depths is welcome to do so. Given more time, I might enjoy joining in.
I don't want to drop this because it's important. I balk at the word 'concept' because that implies that mathematical are products of say human minds and thus we created 13.  But the universe seems to be fundamentally a mathematical structure and thus would not have existed without humans or somebody to create the mathematics upon which it depends.  I'm a relativist, not an idealist, despite some disturbing similarities between the two.

The particle physicists try to figure out what exactly is real: A quark or a photon or something, but quantum mechanics seems not to support the actual existence of something like matter.  All they find is mathematics (wave function in particular).  They find actual mathematics, and not just mathematical concepts.

That said, 13 is an element of the eternal set of integers.  That set isn't a created thing, so it isn't applicable to discuss the time in which it exists.  It is eternal by definition 2 in your post.

Ditto for the other objects I mentioned.

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I've used the latter term, by which I mean a structure whose existence is not relative to time.  It does not mean it isn't a temporal structure (one containing time).

I see the distinction, but could you give an example, please.
The Mandlebrot set is not temporal.  It's merely a map of which complex numbers have a certain property and which do not.  There's nothing that evolves over time.
The automata (the linked image) definitely has time in it.  Time is vertical, going downward, and each state (horizontal row of pixels) can be determined from (caused by) the row immediately above it.  That example is 100% deterministic, a really simple structure.
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But I’m not clear as to how that is “eternal”.
They're all eternal in that all are abstract mathematical sets which are discovered, not created.  The chess thing is arguably not eternal because it really is a product of a human concept, but the same rules might be chosen by an alien independently, and if they do, they'd define the exact same set.

The set of all valid chess states is temporal and even has entropy.  It has a time zero (the initial state) and a count of half-moves since that point.  The structure has a fixed (finite) number of states since the max game is something like 10000 half-moves.  In that sense it is deterministic, but in other senses it is not.  From the initial state, one cannot ask the fate of the white queen since that cannot be determined from the initial state.  It cannot be determined except from a state where there is no white queen, or from one of the end states.  From any other state, a 'wave function' best describes the potential fates of the queen.  It is a bit like multiworld interpretation in that sense, but MWI's realist stance contains what I feel is its fatal flaw.
There is no current state in the chess structure.  If there was, it wouldn't be eternal because it would represent a game being played, and that is a created structure.  The set of all valid chess states does not involve the game being played.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: cleanair on 28/09/2019 23:36:42
Sean Carroll believes the universe is infinite in both directions i.e. it never had a beginning, it was always there and it will never end.

It may be interesting to look at the Horizon Problem.

The Horizon Problem

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In our hu-man words, this means 13.8 billion light-years in all directions, the Universe doesn't repeat. Light has been travelling towards us for 13.8 billion years this way, and 13.8 billion years that way, and 13.8 billion years that way; and that's just when the light left those regions. The expansion of the Universe has carried them from 47.5 billion light years away. Based on this, our Universe is 93 billion light-years across and earth is in the exact middle of the Universe.

If we look far out into space, billions of light years away, we see photons with the same temperature -- roughly 2.725 degrees Kelvin. If we look in another direction, we find the same thing. What a coincidence! In fact, when astronomers look in all directions, no matter how distant, they find that all regions have the same temperature. This is incredibly puzzling, Siegel says, "since these regions are separated by distances that are greater than any signal, even light, could have traveled in the time since the Universe was born.

Sources:
https://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2016/05/three_problems_with_the_big_bang.html
https://phys.org/news/2015-03-universe-finite-infinite.html

Inflation theory is invented to make the Big Bang theory plausible again, however, some scientists are complaining that it's practically a religion and one of the co-founders recently turned his back on the idea.

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1) The Monopole Problem
2) The Flatness Problem
3) The Horizon Problem

You will find the above three problems religiously repeated as a motivation for inflation, in lectures and textbooks and popular science pages all over the place.

Source: Sabine Hossenfelder, theoretical physicist specialized in quantum gravity and high energy physics.

One of inflation’s cofounders has turned his back on the idea. But practically no one else is following him. Is he right?

I was dismayed to see that the criticism by Steinhardt, Ijas, and Loeb that inflation is not a scientific theory, was dismissed so quickly by a community which has become too comfortable with itself.

There’s no warning sign you when you cross the border between science and blabla-land. But inflationary model building left behind reasonable scientific speculation long ago. I, for one, am glad that at least some people are speaking out about it. And that’s why I approve of the Steinhardt et al. criticism.

The Big Bang theory was originally named Cosmic Egg theory.

The following article may be of interest as well:

Einstein’s Lost Theory Describes a Universe Without a Big Bang

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Einstein and most scientists held that the universe was “simply there” with no beginning or end. But it’s interesting to note that creation myths across cultures tell the opposite story. Traditions of Chinese, Indian, pre-Colombian, and African cultures, as well as the biblical book of Genesis, all describe (clearly in allegorical terms) a distinct beginning to the universe—whether it’s the “creation in six days” of Genesis or the “Cosmic Egg” of the ancient Indian text the Rig Veda.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2014/03/07/einsteins-lost-theory-describes-a-universe-without-a-big-bang/
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: alancalverd on 29/09/2019 11:58:46
quantum mechanics seems not to support the actual existence of something like matter.  All they find is mathematics (wave function in particular).  They find actual mathematics, and not just mathematical concepts.
Not happy with that. QM is an attempt to produce a mathematical model of what is observed. It can't "find" anything but might just predict what we do find. It works nicely for molecular structures where it is highly predictive, but seems to be continually catching up with subatomic particles. 
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 29/09/2019 20:54:38
Not happy with that. QM is an attempt to produce a mathematical model of what is observed. It can't "find" anything but might just predict what we do find.
I'm not saying that QM can or cannot find anything.  I'm saying that the closer a scientist looks at matter, the less it looks like matter with properties like volume or coordinates or anything.  It's the empirical tests that cannot find actual matter.

Anyway, I'm not asserting that say an electron isn't real.  I'm interpreting the findings that way.  If you assert that it is real (has an objective state, independent of knowledge or measurement of it), then one has to accept that I can cause an effect in the past, and not just a little.  All interpretations that assert the measurement-independent reality of things need to discard locality which asserts my choices cannot have effects outside my future light cone.
I personally find the latter more offensive, hence I prefer an interpretation that supports locality, and none of them support a measurement-independent state of things.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Razza on 30/09/2019 07:05:13
Theoretical universes come in a menagerie of shapes and clocks.
Our one-verse aka universe could be part of a variety of multi-verses which theoretically result from other independent big bang and quantum events.
These theoretical universes are named parallel, bubble, oscillating, Smolin Fecund, elementary quark, quilted, Brane, cyclic, landscape, quantum, holographic, and ultimate etc. universes. Also, there are amidst the circus, numerical binary universes and some metaphysical antiverses, etc.,  etc.,
The new kid in town is 'Bi-verse the cosmic split'
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 04/10/2019 21:53:32
Quote from: Halc
That said, 13 is an element of the eternal set of integers………  It is eternal by definition 2 in your post.

Quote from: Bill
2. A state to which time has no application; timelessness.

Just have a few minutes to try to pick up this thread again.

The set of integers might be “eternal” by definition 1, but it has relevance only in terms of a “finite reality”.
By definition 2, there is no concept of change, therefore it is meaningless to talk of a set of anything, as this involves differentiation, which requires change.  Change requires time, and by definition 2, eternity is timeless.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 05/10/2019 07:15:05
The set of integers might be “eternal” by definition 1, but it has relevance only in terms of a “finite reality”.
Not sure what you mean by 'finite reality'.  The set of integers is not a finite set.

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By definition 2, there is no concept of change, therefore it is meaningless to talk of a set of anything, as this involves differentiation, which requires change.  Change requires time, and by definition 2, eternity is timeless.
There are plenty of sets that don't involve change.  Yes, integers, or the Mandlebrot set are examples.
The set of valid chess states is an example (a finite one) that involves time and change, yet is an eternal structure by definition 2.  That designation is kind of thin since chess is arguably a created thing and exists in our time as well as containing its own time.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 05/10/2019 21:57:11
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Not sure what you mean by 'finite reality'.

That in which we perceive ourselves to be existing.

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The set of integers is not a finite set.

By Def. 1, that is true, but by Def. 2, it is not.

Possibly Def. 2 needs rewording so as to make it less susceptible to “invasions” from Def. 1.

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There are plenty of sets that don't involve change.  Yes, integers, or the Mandlebrot set are examples.
The set of valid chess states is an example (a finite one) that involves time and change, yet is an eternal structure by definition 2.

By Def. 2, eternity is timeless.  Any differentiation between parts would involve the input of an external observer who existed in time.  To be clear, I’m not saying (at this point) that a set or sequence could not exist in eternity; only that by Def. 2 it would be meaningless.
 
How can a set, or sequence, of anything have any meaning if it is not possible to consider individual members independently?
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 06/10/2019 14:42:50
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Not sure what you mean by 'finite reality'.
That in which we perceive ourselves to be existing.
So your statement means "The set of integers might be “eternal” by definition 1, but it has relevance only in terms of the reality in which we perceive ourselves to be existing."
I must disagree with that.  A different reality would also find integers relevant, although not necessarily all realities.
As I said, I have an inherent bias against anthropocentric views.

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The set of integers is not a finite set.
By Def. 1, that is true, but by Def. 2, it is not.
I don't see any mention in either def about a thing itself being finite or not.  Def 1 talks about time being infinite, but the set of integers is not a temporal structure.  It has no time at all, let alone finite or infinite time.

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There are plenty of sets that don't involve change.  Yes, integers, or the Mandlebrot set are examples.
The set of valid chess states is an example (a finite one) that involves time and change, yet is an eternal structure by definition 2.

By Def. 2, eternity is timeless.[/quote]Depends on what you mean by timeless.  A timeless structure does not exist within time, but time can still exist within it.  The chess example and our 'cosmos' are both such examples of timeless temporal structures.  An example of a non-timeless structure is the Tower Bridge in London. It isn't eternal.

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Any differentiation between parts would involve the input of an external observer who existed in time.
I don't see why an observer is necessary.  Observation is necessary for said differentiation between parts to be known by said observer, but differentiation need not necessarily be known by anything.
 
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How can a set, or sequence, of anything have any meaning if it is not possible to consider individual members independently?
Well, we're observing them in this topic, so the problem is moot.  Yes, for the purpose of this topic, we are observing various things and deriving meaning from them.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 07/10/2019 15:07:46
Quote from: Halc
So your statement means "The set of integers might be “eternal” by definition 1, but it has relevance only in terms of the reality in which we perceive ourselves to be existing."
I must disagree with that.  A different reality would also find integers relevant, although not necessarily all realities.


Perhaps it would have been better if I had said something like: “That in which we, or any other entity we might choose to imagine, could conceivably visualise ourselves as existing”.  However, I am inclined to think that any such hypothetical realities that found integers relevant, would be realities that experienced time.

Recall that “timelessness” is integral to Def. 2 of eternity.

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As I said, I have an inherent bias against anthropocentric views.

There is nothing essentially anthropocentric about our “finite reality”, it existed before any anthropoids of which we have knowledge appeared.  The denizens of a “reality” would be unlikely to pre-date that “reality”, which is one reason why I, too, tend to eschew anthropocentric theories. 

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don't see any mention in either def about a thing itself being finite or not.

That’s because both are definitions of eternity, not of the nature of any possible “inhabitant” of eternity.

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Def 1 talks about time being infinite, but the set of integers is not a temporal structure.  It has no time at all, let alone finite or infinite time.

Which is precisely why I reason that infinity/eternity under Def 1 is a convenient usage that is an approximation, at best, and should not be confused with Def 2.

Several more things to address in that post, but out of time again.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 07/10/2019 20:37:42
I am inclined to think that any such hypothetical realities that found integers relevant, would be realities that experienced time.
I probably agree, but 8 is less than 13 whether or not there is a reality in which the integers are found relevant.  That relation of 'less than' is not a perception-dependent relation.  So this reality where there is an experience of time is irrelevant to the nature of the integers, which are themselves timeless.  I can't prove that integers are not dependent on perception, but to assert otherwise is to assert idealism: reality supervening on perception instead of the other way around.

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As I said, I have an inherent bias against anthropocentric views.
There is nothing essentially anthropocentric about our “finite reality”, it existed before any anthropoids of which we have knowledge appeared.
That, on the other hand, is a realist position.  My problem with a realist position is that it doesn't explain why it's there instead of nothing.  I've been trying to explain how I resolve this problem.

Yes, I agree, but would word it as: Certain things (Earth for instance) were created before and existed in this solar system before there were humans (or any life for that matter) to perceive it.
I would not say 'reality' existed before me because parts of what you'd probably consider reality are in our future, not past, so it isn't all on one side of us like that.
I'm also not a realist, so I don't say things 'exist' at all.  For instance, I say the Earth existed 'in this solar system' above, which makes it a relation instead of an ontological property. The relativist position is most of what solves the something-not-nothing issue.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: CPT ArkAngel on 07/10/2019 21:48:03
Why is there something rather than nothing is a question asking for a cause. How could there be a cause to the existence of the Universe? How could there be a cause to the intrinsic and fundamental structure of the Universe? How could there be a beginning in the first place? There is no beginning and no cause. Energy is conserved... There is no proof of the contrary. Only when energy will not be conserved in a controlled experiment we could start to discuss about it.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 08/10/2019 23:13:42
Quote from: Bill
Let’s look at two definitions of eternity.

1. Infinite or unending time.

2. A state to which time has no application; timelessness.

At first glance, these appear contradictory, but, “common usage by educated people” demonstrates that both are useful definitions, in different contexts.  Would you agree with that?

Quote from: Halc
Of course.  Didn't say otherwise.  But those are different meanings, and if ambiguous, it should be made clear which is meant in a statement.

In spite of this, we still have examples of using one definition to “explain” factors in the other.

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A timeless structure does not exist within time,


Agreed. (Def. 2)

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but time can still exist within it.

Only by Def. 1.   

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   An example of a non-timeless structure is the Tower Bridge in London. It isn't eternal.

Agreed, but consider that if “a non-timeless structure….isn't eternal”, it follows that an eternal structure is timeless.  A problem with trying to embed a non-timeless structure in a timeless structure is that it conflates the two definitions.

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The chess example and our 'cosmos' are both such examples of timeless temporal structures.

Only if you mix Defs 1 and 2. 
By “our 'cosmos'”, do you mean our Universe? I have aimed for clarity in my usage of these terms, and if you are using “cosmos” sensu Gribbin, then I agree it is timeless, but remain unconvinced that it is “temporal”.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 09/10/2019 01:10:01
Let’s look at two definitions of eternity.

1. Infinite or unending time.

2. A state to which time has no application; timelessness.

At first glance, these appear contradictory, but, “common usage by educated people” demonstrates that both are useful definitions, in different contexts.
...
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A timeless structure does not exist within time,
Agreed. (Def. 2)
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but time can still exist within it.
Only by Def. 1.
Def 1 talks about infinite time. Finite time within a structure is not eternity by def 1. Time as we know it (that which is measured in seconds) seems to be finite in some models, and not others. Some of the examples I gave are definitely finite, and some are not, and some have no time at all.

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An example of a non-timeless structure is the Tower Bridge in London. It isn't eternal.
Agreed, but consider that if “a non-timeless structure….isn't eternal”, it follows that an eternal structure is timeless.
If you are using def 2, yes, where 'timeless' means 'not contained in time' and not 'doesn't contain time'.

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A problem with trying to embed a non-timeless structure in a timeless structure is that it conflates the two definitions.
So what? I can glue my inaccurate time piece to the wall so it runs fast and is also fast to the wall.  Is that offensive that the same word means two different things in relation to the same object?
Perhaps better to converse in a language that forbids multiple meanings to any one word.  The dictionary wouldn't be much larger, but there would be a lot more, shorter entries in it.

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The chess example and our 'cosmos' are both such examples of timeless temporal structures.
Only if you mix Defs 1 and 2.[/quote]Mix is OK.  Both are eternal by def 2.  Only the cosmos may be eternal by def 1.  The chess example is not, so there's no dual usage of a word going on there.  Temporal and eternal mean different things.

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By “our 'cosmos'”, do you mean our Universe?
No. Using your definition. Our universe is likely 'caused' by something more fundamental. Cosmos, by your definition, is not. The structure is larger than our 'universe' which is a word I tend to use to describe our particular bubble of space-time.  I think you limited that definition even further by saying it's all we can observe, but then it's not eternal (1) since we only observe finite time.

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I have aimed for clarity in my usage of these terms, and if you are using “cosmos” sensu Gribbin, then I agree it is timeless, but remain unconvinced that it is “temporal”.
It contains my running fast clock, so that makes it temporal.  Does that word mean something different to you?  Dictionary says 'relating to time'.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 09/10/2019 13:57:47
Quote from: CPT Archangel
Why is there something rather than nothing is a question asking for a cause.

This is why I would rather ask; “How could there be…” rather than: “Why is there…”

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How could there be a cause to the existence of the Universe? How could there be a cause to the intrinsic and fundamental structure of the Universe?

It depends on your definition of “Universe”.  Using Gribbin’s distinction; I would say your questions, if applied to “cosmos”, would invite the answer: “there couldn’t be a cause”.  Applied to “Universe”: there probably could be a cause, but I have no idea what it might be. 

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There is no beginning and no cause.

On a cosmic scale I agree. 

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Energy is conserved... There is no proof of the contrary. Only when energy will not be conserved in a controlled experiment we could start to discuss about it.

Point taken; but I suspect that conservation of energy in an expanding universe might raise complications that are best avoided at this stage.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 09/10/2019 16:56:11
Quote from: Halc
Time as we know it (that which is measured in seconds) seems to be finite in some models, and not others.

The point that seems easily to be overlooked/ignored is that time cannot be infinite in any model that asserts that infinity is not a number. Def. 1 sidesteps the “not a number” issue, for convenience.  I have no quarrel with this.

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If you are using def 2, yes, where 'timeless' means 'not contained in time' and not 'doesn't contain time'.

(2. A state to which time has no application; timelessness.)  If time is not applicable under Def. 2; then 'timeless' means 'not contained in time' and  'doesn't contain time'.

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So what? I can glue my inaccurate time piece to the wall so it runs fast and is also fast to the wall.  Is that offensive that the same word means two different things in relation to the same object?
Of course it’s not; nor is that example, in any way, helpful in the consideration of any differences there might be between “infinity” by Defs 1 and 2.

I would like to address the final point in #127 separately, partly because I think it is too important to become lost among other points, and also because I need to give it some thought – possibly, pick some stones out of the path, first.  :)
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: CPT ArkAngel on 09/10/2019 18:10:20
The Universe means everything. If I'm correct, that's the usual meaning of Universe with a capital 'U'. The Big Bang is not the beginning, it is just a phase.

Gravitational waves were postulated to conserved energy. And there we have them...

If you start with an infinite Universe, you won't find any satisfying solution because infinity cannot be rationalized. Yet, we have a constant speed of light in the vacuum, we have other constants and discreet particles. Let's start with a finite Universe, then we may add things to it only when no other solution is reasonable. In a finite and quantized Universe, there is a maximum to entropy...

Let's test a Big Bounce hypothesis where the Big Bang is just a phase transition.

Just before the Big Bang, all matter is condensed in an object having the lowest possible entropy. This could be a Schwarzchild black hole but it includes all space and time (no external space). This implies a prior Big Crunch which has condensed all matter in the previous cycle. This means there was an excess of attraction vs repulsion.

When the Universe reaches the bottom (the lowest entropy), the attractive force (whatever produces this force) passes by a symmetrical point where it becomes null and then this produces an excess of the repulsive force for a brief moment, something like a Planck time. Gravity disappears when the energy budget is 50-50, repulsion-attraction. But in fact, it never gets to this budget because it is a symmetrical point where attraction just disappears. It implies that there are asymmetries left to account for the structure. These asymmetries may be fundamental or related to a multiverse.

A finite Universe implies intrinsic asymmetries. Only an infinite Universe may have a complete symmetry. If you want a cause to our existence, it is the fact that there are irreducible physical asymmetries. The annihilation of an electron-positron pair doesn't result in nothing but two photons. This means there is no complete symmetry between them, though there are symmetries to be filled with the rest of the Universe.

Returning to the Big Bang, this results in a delay between repulsion and attraction.  The phase of repulsion is in advance of the attractive phase. This is dark energy.  Now the Universe has a much greater asymmetry in the form of a delay in the phase of the waves. Repulsion results in an increase in the degrees of freedom and the entropy. Attraction results in a decrease in the degrees of freedom. All forces should be mediated by particles. The known candidate for this effect is the photon which produces a delay of gravity in its direction of motion. Gravity moves at the speed of light. This adds to the original delay, though it is small, it means Dark Energy increases. But, as the Universe is finite, it will reach a maximum entropy and go through another phase transition when a symmetry of the repulsion force will be filled in. Dark matter has an important role to account for the ratio of gravitational mass vs repulsive mass. It could potentially have only an attractive component.

GR does not include the phase transitions or the Big Bang...
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 09/10/2019 18:27:18
Thanks CPT Archangel. That’s a great explanation for the evolution of the Universe.  There are so many things in it that merit attention, it probably needs a thread of its own.  I look forward to returning to it. 
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 09/10/2019 23:53:24
Quote from: Halc
Time as we know it (that which is measured in seconds) seems to be finite in some models, and not others.
The point that seems easily to be overlooked/ignored is that time cannot be infinite in any model that asserts that infinity is not a number.
I know of no models that defy the rules of mathematics and assert any such thing.

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If you are using def 2, yes, where 'timeless' means 'not contained in time' and not 'doesn't contain time'.

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(2. A state to which time has no application; timelessness.)  If time is not applicable under Def. 2; then 'timeless' means 'not contained in time' and  'doesn't contain time'.
Def 2 is a 2nd definition of eternal (or eternity), and that does not preclude things that contain time, as our universe obviously does.  I consider it to be eternal but not timeless.

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So what? I can glue my inaccurate time piece to the wall so it runs fast and is also fast to the wall.  Is that offensive that the same word means two different things in relation to the same object?
Of course it’s not; nor is that example, in any way, helpful in the consideration of any differences there might be between “infinity” by Defs 1 and 2.
I wasn't commenting on the differences.  I was responding to your comment about conflating the two definitions of eternity.  'Infinity' is not mentioned in Def 2.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 11/10/2019 16:20:27
Quote from: Halc
I know of no models that defy the rules of mathematics and assert any such thing.

Nor I, but we still find, in the same post, things like: “Eternity is not a length of time.” and “Just think of it as infinite time”  While this can be explained away, that does require changing definitions. 

We seem to have agreed that one-word-one-definition is neither attainable, nor desirable, but some agreement about definition, in any specific context, is essential. 

I think we have agreed that infinity is not a number, and eternity not a length of time.  If so, perhaps we should have a go at defining a sequence. 

My suggestion for a starting point is: “A sequence is a statement of a particular order in which related entities follow one other”.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: alancalverd on 11/10/2019 17:17:52
That presumes a relationship.

"He put his hat on, walked out of the door, and was shot by a sniper."  Obvious sequence (it could not have happened in any other order) but no essential relationship between the events. Interestingly, it could be the start of a novel in which the detective looks for a connection, but this sort of thing happens in real life with none.

So a sequence is a temporal or spatial order. Not to be confused with a series, where there is a logical connection such that the next member is predictable from those we already know.

"He put on his body armour, opened the hatch, and was met by a hail of fire from the enemy." Implicit context turns a sequence into a series!
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Halc on 11/10/2019 19:09:07
Quote from: Halc
I know of no models that defy the rules of mathematics and assert any such thing.

Nor I, but we still find, in the same post, things like: “Eternity is not a length of time.” and “Just think of it as infinite time”  While this can be explained away, that does require changing definitions. 

I think we have agreed that infinity is not a number, and eternity not a length of time.  If so, perhaps we should have a go at defining a sequence.
I would have said that by def 1, it is a length of time, but not one that can be represented by a number.  It is an unbounded length of time.  The difference between how we see it seems unimportant to what is being asked in this thread.

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My suggestion for a starting point is: “A sequence is a statement of a particular order in which related entities follow one other”.
That 'statement' is pretty much the same thing as a reference frame or a coordinate system, either of which accomplishes the same thing.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: CPT ArkAngel on 11/10/2019 20:08:20
Alan,

Your definition of a sequence is good, but I don't think you are right by saying that the sequence "He put his hat on, walked out of the door, and was shot by a sniper." is non causal. Your brain separates artificially the causal relations after the fact from your own perspective and knowledge. Unless you believe in freewill, the universe determines the sequence and everything is causal. For example, if he didn't put his hat on, maybe the sniper wouldn't have recognized him and never killed him. Even though the hat may not have played a crucial role, it is still a part of the causality chain and the Universe produces only one outcome. But some events are more important than others. Everything in your past light cone, including your own body, determines what you're doing.  Why the sniper shot him? why the sniper is a sniper? What happened when he was young to become a sniper? How were his parents, his family, his environment and his parents parents and so on? In the end, you can safely conclude that the Big Bang is the origin... I prefer to say it is the way the Universe is. It is also true in the Many-Worlds interpretation, even though I think it is wrong.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 12/10/2019 11:46:41
Quote from: Bill
I think we have agreed that infinity is not a number, and eternity not a length of time.

Quote from: Halc
I would have said that by def 1, it is a length of time, but not one that can be represented by a number.

Quote from: Lewis Carroll
When he cried "Steer to starboard, but keep her head larboard!"
   What on earth was the helmsman to do?”


A length of time that cannot be represented by a number. Material for the imagination!  The only length of time I can think of that cannot be represented by a number is “infinite” time; which is a contradiction in terms.

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The difference between how we see it seems unimportant to what is being asked in this thread.

Possibly because the connection is still to be made.

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That 'statement' is pretty much the same thing as a reference frame or a coordinate system, either of which accomplishes the same thing.

A great response, if you want to keep the door open for agreeing, or disagreeing with the proposed definition, later.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 12/10/2019 14:28:23
Quote from: Alan
"He put his hat on, walked out of the door, and was shot by a sniper."  Obvious sequence (it could not have happened in any other order)

What about: "He, walked out of the door, put his hat on and was shot by a sniper."?  If the shot is not fatal, there are other possibilities as well; or am I missing something?

Nit-pickers of the world unite,
The details are exciting;
We could argue through the night,
And reach the morning fighting.

Good distinction between “series” and “sequence”; thanks Alan.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: alancalverd on 12/10/2019 17:05:14
Arkangel: the sequence hat/door/shot is not implicitly or explicitly causal. That's the problem of forensic science - we an establish a sequence of events, but the law demands to know whether he was shot because he was wearing an enemy hat (an act of war) or any hat (an act of insanity) or the hat was irrelevant to the shooting (terrorism).  He might not have been shot if he hadn't opened the door, but if the shooter really wanted to kill him, he would have kicked the door in or fired through the window anyway. 

There's a very neat mathematical introduction to forensics. What is 2 + 2? What is 3 + 1? What is 6 - 2? That's everyday maths. What is 4? That's forensic maths.

Bill: I never said the shot was fatal! Beware of "obvious" implications. It makes no difference to the sequence of events so far, only to subsequent events, of which we currently know nothing. Here's what actually happened:

He put on his hat, walked out of the door, and was shot by a sniper. The shot grazed his left arm but, after the commercial break, 007 replied, firing his automatic from the hip, and blew the sniper's head off.....Unoriginal screenplay by Alan Calverd.....
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: CPT ArkAngel on 12/10/2019 18:24:24
If you search for who did it, you are right. But in terms of cause, no. Our society is totally wrong on how we blame people, simply because only the Universe is guilty. It doesn't mean we should do nothing to stop criminals, it just means we should change our way of thinking and take care of everybody's environment. We are treating symptoms not the disease...

There are levels of physical causation but it is all emergent from particles interactions. Forensic investigation looks from the top and doesn't go very deep.

You are totally right from the standard emergent point of view of people. But physics shows it is wrong...
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: Bill S on 12/10/2019 21:17:50
Quote from: Alan
Bill: I never said the shot was fatal!

What we say (or write) passes through the filter of our background, learning and understanding, giving rise to our interpretation.  The person who hears what we say, passes it through a similar filter; thus, producing an interpretation that may well be very different from ours.  The surprising thing is that we ever fully understand one another.  Or do we?  Does anyone really hear what we say?

Let’s avoid an “I didn’t say…”, “I didn’t say you said….” Situation, and move on. :)

What I was looking for (initially) when introducing a definition of a sequence to this thread was to investigate the (possibly) numeric nature of a sequence, and consider the implications of a (possibly) infinite sequence.  Eventually, I would hope to link that to the OP.
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: HelpMe929 on 14/10/2019 06:56:21
Deciding how the universe came into existence is one question.

Deciding if the universe exists at all is another one. Existence is an effect. What is the cause? There is nothing concrete that I can pick out from 'popular science' (as opposed to hard science from the scientists' workbench) that points to anything you can put your finger on as saying 'this is the building block for everything'.

There seems to be no current detectable limit to the external universe, and no current detectable limit to the inner universe of microphysics. Like a mandlebrot pattern, the physical universe seems to have unlimited granularity. I like to think that the search for physical unification is like looking for the simple underlying formula for mandelbrotian chaos .

I like the quote from 'Hitch-hiker's guide to the Galaxy'

"There is a scientific theory which states that the moment we understand the universe around us it will instantly be replaced by a more complex one... There's is another theory which states that this has already happened."
Title: Re: Was the Big Bang the beginning of the universe?
Post by: alancalverd on 14/10/2019 07:52:54
What we say (or write) passes through the filter of our background, learning and understanding, giving rise to our interpretation.  The person who hears what we say, passes it through a similar filter; thus, producing an interpretation that may well be very different from ours.  The surprising thing is that we ever fully understand one another.  Or do we?  Does anyone really hear what we say?
You have identified the essence of comedy and lightweight drama: set up a scene that elicits the audience's expectations of "normal", then flip to the plausible but unexpected. It is also the essence of a lot of science: the anomalous observation that leads to understanding, is only anomalous in preconception, not nature.

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What I was looking for (initially) when introducing a definition of a sequence to this thread was to investigate the (possibly) numeric nature of a sequence, and consider the implications of a (possibly) infinite sequence.  Eventually, I would hope to link that to the OP.
Back to the subject! We can attach numbers to the items in a sequence but they can be misleading. We can see an expanding universe and what appears to be a residual microwave background, so it is tempting to presume an origin as t → 0 and an asymptotic thermal death as t →∞, but we know that we can only observe within the Schwarzchild limit so we should not be surprised if we are surprised and the observable universe decides one day to contract - the laws of physics are descriptive, not prescriptive.