Big Bang

What existed before the Big Bang?

Since this question is fishing for opinions, I would say God.

Five possible answers;

  1. We don’t know
  2. We don’t care
  3. Nothingness
  4. God
  5. The Big Buildup

Personally, I have no doubt of 4 & 5.

Maybe we “bubbled off” from a previous universe.

This one statement discredits the entire article for me;
"Their model may help explain why we experience time moving in a straight line from yesterday into tomorrow. "

But the rest of the article is like explaining that the beginning of life was from space aliens. It doesn’t really answer the question, but rather defers it to another begged question;
"Where did that other universe come from which this universe “bubbled off”?

I don’t understand the science, so I have no opinion about it really.

You: What happened before today?
Me: There was a yesterday. It was very similar to today.
You: That doesn’t really answer the question, but rather defers it to another begged question.


I will concede that the actual question was merely “what came before this Big Bang?”
But that question is seldom asked without the intent of asking from where did any of it come.

Hmm, it’s a natural sciences question - with a scientific theory provided. I took it at face value.

Well I would think many might suggest that it is all a matter of an infinite regression of causes. In otherwords the big bang was caused by 1, which was caused by 2, which was caused by 3, and so on ad infinitum… But that is really no different then the proposition of God in that that Idea is similar as far as one would say that God never began he just always was. that isn’t any diffrent than suggesting an infinite regress of causes as that suggests that the universe as a whole has just always been. And even if it has always been that doesn’t rule out that by some obtuse ability God was able to still exist “before” it did, and in otherwords create the infinite regress and progress… Part of the problem people have with the idea that God created the universe is that it doesn’t make clear sense to think that something existed "before’ time. as “before” is a time dependant thing. But that doesn’t exactly disprove God either but might suggest that time existed along with God or that time itself is some aspect of God. Or I would prefer to just posit that God is the everything. In so far as to say that the set “everything” contains all “things” God is a thing so he must be associated with that set, if he is not a thing, then that is to say he doesn’t exist (I’m useing “he” for conveniance not to suggest sexuality) But then I would say that God by definition must be the ultimate and if he was a part of the everything then he would merly be a part of the ultimate that then being the everything, as such it would only make sense to think that God is The Everything. And that actually concurs with verious things like saying that, God is ever present…check, God would be all knowing: he would have brains in him us and other animals, check… He would be all powerfull, but that doesn’t meen he can exactly do anything but rather perhaps anything that is possible… And I could go on… I can see James ready to pick this apart… :stuck_out_tongue:

Some physicists answer this by saying that the question has a false assumption in it. Time, in fact, began along with space/things, in the BB. There was no before. Other physicists think there is a larger universe, sometimes called a metaverse in which universes like (or unlike) ours start up. There are other takes out there and there is no consensus. And that’s just amongst physicists.

God is the REASON (“Cause”) there is a universe at all instead of nothingness and the cause of all events within, not one who started it up from nothingness.
God is independent of time issues (eternal) and cannot be the Cause without there being an Effect (the universe itself - eternal).

I was thinking more along the lines of ‘matter’ in the universe. To produce a Big Bang, a compression of matter that could get no smaller and, therefore, had to explode, there had to be ‘matter,’–or energy within matter.

Are there limits to the universe? Ours is an ever expanding universe thrust outward by the energy of the Big Bang. Did the energy of a previous universe hit a wall, bounce off of it and start a regression/compression into the ‘ball’ of energy that ultimately produced the Big Bang?

That would make the existence of a universe cyclical. Is there anything ‘wrong’ with that?

but what would it have been that caused the universe to be such that when matter compressed it behaved as such. One might say that is a law of physics, but i am asking what is it that made such a law exist?

The only thing wrong being that it presupposes that the entire infinite universe came from a single Big Bang… so unlikely as to be impossible.

The universe that we know is like a single drop of rain that splashed onto the ocean surface.

Some enormous force would have to had compressed all of that matter in the first place.

I’m in agreement with Abstract when he points out that the concept ‘before’ has no meaning if you think time started with the BB. I’d only like to add that this does not mean there can’t be any basis or foundation for the universe as a whole - what it means is that such a basis or foundation must be outside time, something that accounts not so much for an initializing event that spawned the rest of the universe, but every event - taken as a whole - and explains (if we could understand it) why it all takes place at all.


“Time starting” doesn’t have any meaning either. :mrgreen:
Time == the measure of relative change.
Without time, there can be no “start” because there can be no change.

And is my current occupation of study - Rational Metaphysics.

I have a tendancy to think that time is just a matter of perception. As one experience time diffently as they get older or if they take certain drugs. As such I think that is possible to suggest that while things did exist on a technical basis always, it may be that things wern’t really releveant untill something began percieving them (relivation requires thought). Although I have a tendancy to think that there has always been something around to percieve things, whether it be humans, or some form of life(i.e. what we would refer to as aliens), other dimensional beings, or God. As JSS said, time is a measure of events, but there can be no measuering without something to think and thus measure.

Yes, it is rather mind boggling, isn’t it? I mean, if you buy into the theory that time was created with the BB, it raises the question: what do we say of that first moment of time if it can’t be called the ‘start’. Some would argue in favor of the multiverse theory, others the cyclical universe theory. Here’s another one:

One will notice in science that there are certain measurable quantities whose limits can seem finite from a certain perspective but infinite from another. Take velocity, for example. Einstein tells us that there is a limit to how fast things can go - the speed of light. But Einstein also tells us that this speed is only measured at c by someone who is stationary relative to the object moving that fast (or nearly that fast). By someone traveling at close to the speed of light, he passes by other objects at a far greater rate than c, and if he could travel at the speed of light, any trip would be instantaneous because his speed would be infinite. Another example is scale: if you imagine taking an object that’s, say, 3 cm cubed and then subtracting 1 cm cubed from it 3 times, you get an object no bigger than a geometrical point (if not a non-existent object). So there certainly seems to be a limit to scale when you shrink things down that way. But if instead of subtracting a constant amount, you divided by a constant amount (say by half each time), you would never reach 0 size (or the size of a geometric point). It ends up seeming limitless.

Maybe time, at least retrospectively, is like that. Maybe the moment of the BB is simply a finite limit from our point of view (or perhaps of science’s current methods of measuring such things). But suppose we were able travel back gradually in time ourselves. Would it seem as though we could do so at a constant rate such that we could say “It’ll only take another 13 billion years” (supposing we could live that long). Will it actually take 13 billion years from our point of view (going at that rate), or would something else happen - namely, that the further back in time we go, the more time seems to ‘stretch’ further back (like in those dreams when you’re running down a hall and the end just seems to get farther and farther away). What if that was the perspective of these hypothetical time travellers?