Before the Big Bang

Is there a god? What is the meaning of life?
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steven lloyd
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Re: Before the Big Bang

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Dead right wrote: May 26th, 2023, 11:25 am
steven lloyd wrote: May 19th, 2023, 9:47 am But current scientific knowledge states there is not enough matter in the universe for gravity to even slow, let alone reverse the acceleration of the expansion of the universe
Our current scientific knowledge is far ahead of what we knew 100 years ago and I have faith that we will continue to progress.
Indeed. I do like the direction quantum physics is going with the idea of the interconnectedness of all things (energy and matter) across an infinite universe and an infinite number of universes at a subatomic level, and of a purposeful force holding it all together and possibly even providing the "initial conditions" for the creation of our stars, galaxies, life and consciousness. Fascinating stuff.
There is agreement that something cannot come from nothing, and the way our universe evolved depended on what are called "initial conditions". From the book "The Quantum And The Lotus", ...

If these constants and initial conditions were just slightly different then we wouldn't be here talking about them. The universe, right from the start, seems to have carried the seeds that allowed for the emergence of consciousness, of an observer. In the words of the physicist Freeman Dyson, "The universe in some sense must have known that we were coming."
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Re: Before the Big Bang

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JLives wrote: May 18th, 2023, 9:27 pm

I would respond we know very little as a species and as a layperson I know nothing comparatively speaking. But everything we find in every other area seems to be cynical but always moving forward. A 3d spiral maybe. It doesn't make sense that the universe would be linear. What else is in the natural world? Maybe the black holes are part of it and eventually turn into a super black hole contracting all matter. Then it explodes again.
Oh man, new to this thread, and then I came across your post. For long I have wondered what happens to the materials, that get sucked into a black hole. Seems odd that they just disappear never to be seen again. Matter doesn't just disappear. It gets reformed, reconstituted, or perhaps resurfaces as antimatter on the flip side of that black hole.
Maybe, just maybe, our universe as we know it was a result of a violent blast erupting from a black hole. With every black hole, there could be a universe forming on the other side? We know and have proven that antimatter exists, but is extremely rare. Why? Antimatter and matter should be in balance, but we struggle to find it and except in rare cases, produce it. Perhaps what remains is remnants of another antimatter universe blown through that black hole to create our matter universe. Big Bang.
As our entire universe eventually gets sucked into black holes to reform as antimatter universes, we have to rethink the word universe. Perhaps more realistically "dimensions" or the expansion of the "Multiverse".
As the multiverse absorbs, and creates new universes via black hole proliferation, it ever expands. Some matter, some antimatter, thereby maintaining the balance of each other.
Now, if I could just figure out today's Wordle. Hmmmm.
Thanks JL
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youjustcomplain
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Re: Before the Big Bang

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steven lloyd wrote: May 17th, 2023, 2:38 pm I am discussing these ideas from the perspective of theories of quantum physics, as well as the philosophical examination of Buddhism. As such, any idea of a man made deity or "God" really has no relevance. While ideas of metaphysics and spirituality have some relevance, religion does not. In talking about the purpose of the universe, most Buddhists and quantum physicists would suggest it's very existence is its purpose. Cause and effect plays an integral role and it is a long string of cause and effect (a leading to b leading to c leading to ... etc) that lead to the creation of stars and then galaxies and then life and then consciousness. We don't know where creation will go from here, but we have good ideas on how the current state came to be. The big question still, a question being critically examined by both Buddhists and quantum physicists, is how did it start. Has it been an infinite ongoing process of expansion and contraction, or was it an "original cause" or purpose that already existed in a timeless and infinite vacuum? Current evidence and scientific knowledge contradicts the idea of an infinite process of expansion and contraction.
Perhaps you mean purpose in a different way than I do. Things that are man made have a purpose; they were built in a certain way for a certain task. I don't believe you're suggesting a god created all of this with a purpose in mind, so I'm still curious how you conclude that there is any purpose at all.
steven lloyd wrote: May 17th, 2023, 2:38 pm We can deduce it's purpose to date by acknowledging our existence.
Wouldn't that be the same thing as to say that the purpose of the a is to provide shade for me on a sunny day?

Not attempting to be arguementative. Just trying to figure out what is meant when you write about purpose to a universe. My opinion is that, if there is a purpose, we don't know it and likely never will. As such, we can't know there is a purpose.
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steven lloyd
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Re: Before the Big Bang

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youjustcomplain wrote: Jun 5th, 2023, 8:24 am Perhaps you mean purpose in a different way than I do. Things that are man made have a purpose; they were built in a certain way for a certain task. I don't believe you're suggesting a god created all of this with a purpose in mind, so I'm still curious how you conclude that there is any purpose at all.
Sorry I missed this. Yes, I am not thinking of purpose in the sense of "intent", such as the intent of some supreme being or deity that exists distinct from us. Rather, I am referring to purpose as the consequence of a long string of cause and effect - a string that is, as yet, not ended. Astro physics suggests that the Big Bang led to the formation of stars which led to the creation of galaxies which led to the creation of habitable planets (yes, plural as it would be the height of both arrogance and ignorance to presume our planet is the only one of its kind in an infinite universe) which led to the creation of life and, ultimately (so far) consciousness. It may not have been the intent of the stars to create conscious life but they are the cause - and according to quantum physics some sort of "initial conditions" existed even before the Big Bang that caused the whole thing.

I would agree that if there is a purpose in the form of intent we don't know it and likely never will. By the very definition of agnosticism I believe that God is unknowable, and I don't believe God exists in some form of distinct entity that exists outside of us. Rather, I accept the idea put forward by quantum physics that suggests everything (all energy and matter across an infinite universe and an infinite number of universes) is connected at a subatomic level and that some type of force acts to maintain that connection. Buddhism also rejects the idea of a supreme being but they do engage in prayer and meditation in an attempt to establish closer conscious contact with this universal force (as described by quantum physics) - or, "enlightenment".

To add a bit of a turn to this discussion consider this tenuous analogy. From the moment the cue ball makes contact with the lead ball in the rack when you break a rack of pool balls there is a transfer of kinetic energy at very precise locations on all the balls and the ultimate resting spot of every ball is, in fact, predetermined from that point. If we use this as a type of analogy to the evolution of the universe we need to recognize that the antics of fear-based beings capable of free will are independent to and will have no impact on what ultimately comes to be. As the saying goes, "the universe will unfold as it will" - and, of course, in the case of the universe (universes) the balls are still moving.
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Re: Before the Big Bang

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youjustcomplain wrote: May 17th, 2023, 1:59 pm No reason to think we're that special.
At this point I would think that we are the " special " thing in the universe, Maybe not all that special but that just means the bar is set low.
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Re: Before the Big Bang

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I suspect we have and are being visited.

They are waiting for an intelligent race to show itself and we are not there yet. :biggrin:
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Re: Before the Big Bang

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Bsuds wrote: Jul 22nd, 2023, 5:20 pm I suspect we have and are being visited.

They are waiting for an intelligent race to show itself and we are not there yet. :biggrin:
Probably waiting for the Dolphins to raise up, or just checking up on their ship at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.
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Re: Before the Big Bang

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Bsuds wrote: Jul 22nd, 2023, 5:20 pm I suspect we have and are being visited.

They are waiting for an intelligent race to show itself and we are not there yet. :biggrin:
Do you really think visitors from outer space have visited and are visiting us?
Just the math behind the amount of time it would take to get here makes it almost impossible.
Our science fiction tells us about how we can bend time/space to get from point A to B much quicker, but we haven't found a way to do it.

Fully understanding that our technology may be next to zero relative to alien life out there, it's possible they have found ways to travel through space/time much quicker than we have even imagined. Faster than warp 9 !

That said though, why would any alien life, capable of such feats, want to visit us ? What do we have that would be interesting to them? Travel all this way to look at an ant colony (Earth).

You may be right. Perhaps we've been visited by only the most benevolent species, but we've never seen or had any evidence of it. I, for one, find it hard to imagine that aliens would find us interesting enough to travel to, and once travelled to, would decide to remain invisible to us.

Most of the evidence of aliens comes from the rectums of bumkins in the mid-west. Not a very reliable source if you ask me. :)
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Re: Before the Big Bang

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youjustcomplain wrote: Jul 24th, 2023, 9:41 am
Bsuds wrote: Jul 22nd, 2023, 5:20 pm I suspect we have and are being visited.

They are waiting for an intelligent race to show itself and we are not there yet. :biggrin:
You may be right. Perhaps we've been visited by only the most benevolent species, but we've never seen or had any evidence of it. I, for one, find it hard to imagine that aliens would find us interesting enough to travel to, and once travelled to, would decide to remain invisible to us.
Who knows maybe the have a law not to make themselves known to a Race until said race has interstellar ?Space travel
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Re: Before the Big Bang

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Bsuds wrote: Jul 24th, 2023, 12:55 pm Who knows maybe the have a law not to make themselves known to a Race until said race has interstellar ?Space travel
Right. They might have the Prime Directive. I wouldn't presume that science fiction from 30 years ago in our culture would be used by a being so advanced that they can travel extreme distances to find something so insignificant. But hey, I'm on board with dreaming. :)
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Re: Before the Big Bang

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youjustcomplain wrote: Jul 24th, 2023, 2:03 pm
Bsuds wrote: Jul 24th, 2023, 12:55 pm Who knows maybe the have a law not to make themselves known to a Race until said race has interstellar ?Space travel
Right. They might have the Prime Directive. I wouldn't presume that science fiction from 30 years ago in our culture would be used by a being so advanced that they can travel extreme distances to find something so insignificant. But hey, I'm on board with dreaming. :)
I wouldn't swear to it being true but it wouldn't shock me if it were.
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steven lloyd
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Re: Before the Big Bang

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youjustcomplain wrote: Jul 24th, 2023, 9:41 am
Bsuds wrote: Jul 22nd, 2023, 5:20 pm I suspect we have and are being visited.

They are waiting for an intelligent race to show itself and we are not there yet. :biggrin:
Do you really think visitors from outer space have visited and are visiting us?
Just the math behind the amount of time it would take to get here makes it almost impossible.
Our science fiction tells us about how we can bend time/space to get from point A to B much quicker, but we haven't found a way to do it.
We haven't found a way to do it - yet - and maybe we never will, but quantum physics shows it is possible and there's no reason to assume that in an infinite universe other life forms haven't figured it out. In fact, while Einstein postulated that it would be impossible for travel faster than light, quantum mechanics has proven that to be wrong and the math has shown that photons that exist light years apart can and do react to each other instantaneously. Ya, it is mind bending stuff and I don't pretend to understand it but I still find myself fascinated by it and I am certainly enjoying reading the book I've already referenced in this thread - small chunks at a time as it is very tough reading for this old guy.
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Re: Before the Big Bang

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steven lloyd wrote: Jul 25th, 2023, 10:30 am We haven't found a way to do it - yet - and maybe we never will, but quantum physics shows it is possible and there's no reason to assume that in an infinite universe other life forms haven't figured it out. In fact, while Einstein postulated that it would be impossible for travel faster than light, quantum mechanics has proven that to be wrong and the math has shown that photons that exist light years apart can and do react to each other instantaneously. Ya, it is mind bending stuff and I don't pretend to understand it but I still find myself fascinated by it and I am certainly enjoying reading the book I've already referenced in this thread - small chunks at a time as it is very tough reading for this old guy.
No reason to assume other life forms haven't figured out space travel at speeds greater than the speed of light?

What a strange position to take. By default, we should just assume things to be true without any evidence for them?

I do assume that there are other life forms on other planets or moons out there, somewhere. Given the number of possibilities, I'd say that the universe likely has many examples of other life on other worlds. But to just assume that they can do intergalactic travel is a big leap. Requires too much faith for me. :)
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Re: Before the Big Bang

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Was it one Big Bang where all the energy and matter in the universe exploded from containment in an infinitesimally small singularity, or has it been an infinite series of expansion from a singularity followed by contraction into a singularity and then expansion again. These are the two differing ideas of the creation of our universe being debated by astronomers and quantum physicists today. With the Big Bang theory all the energy and matter in an infinite number of infinite universes came forth from containment in an infinitesimally small singularity that existed in a timeless nothing holding “initial conditions” and has been expanding ever since. This theory suggests the universes will continue to expand while eventually and ultimately becoming ethereal, while the “Bounce” theory suggests gravity will eventually pull these universes back into themselves and the expansion process will begin again.

One of the problems with the Bounce theory according to some astronomers is the claim there is not enough matter in the universe for gravity to have such an effect. At the same time though, both anti-matter and dark-matter are the wild card in this hypothesis and physicists cannot yet say what the impact or role of these conditions might play in providing that gravitational pull. However, astronomers and physicist now have evidence that pokes holes in the idea that the cosmos expanded and then contracted before beginning again.

The Universe Began with a Bang, Not a Bounce, New Studies Find
New research pokes holes in the idea that the cosmos expanded and then contracted before beginning again


How did the universe start? Did we begin with a big bang, or was there a bounce? Might the cosmos evolve in a cycle of expansion and collapse, over and over for all eternity? Now, in two papers, researchers have poked holes in different models of a so-called bouncing universe, suggesting the universe we see around us is probably a one-and-done proposition.

Bouncing universe proponents argue that our cosmos didn’t emerge on its own out of nothing. Instead, advocates claim, a prior universe shrunk in on itself and then regrew into the one we live in. This may have happened once or, according to some theories, an infinite number of times.

So which scenario is correct? The most widely accepted explanation for the history of the universe has it beginning with a big bang, followed by a period of rapid expansion known as cosmic inflation. According to that model, the glow left over from when the universe was hot and young, called the cosmic microwave background (CMB), should look pretty much the same no matter which direction you face. But data from the Planck space observatory, which mapped the CMB from 2009 to 2013, showed unexpected variations in the microwave radiation. They could be meaningless statistical fluctuations in the temperature of the universe, or they might be signs of something interesting going on.

One possibility is that the CMB anomalies imply that the universe didn’t emerge out of nothing. Instead it came about after a prior universe collapsed and bounced back to create the space and time we live in today.
Bouncing universe models can explain these CMB patterns as well as account for lingering quibbles about the standard description of the universe’s origin and evolution. In particular, the big bang model of the universe begins with a singularity—a point that appeared out of nothing and contained the precursors of everything in the universe in a region so small that it had essentially no size at all. The idea is that the universe grew from the singularity and, after inflation, settled into the more gradually expanding universe we see today. But singularities are problematic because physics, and math itself, doesn’t make sense when everything is packed into a point that’s infinitely small. Many physicists prefer to avoid singularities.

One bouncing model that averts singularities and makes the CMB anomalies a little less anomalous is known as loop quantum cosmology (LQC). It relies on a bridge between classical physics and quantum mechanics known as loop quantum gravity, which posits that the force of gravity peters out at very small distances rather than increasing to infinity. “Cosmological models inspired by loop quantum gravity can solve some problems,” says University of Geneva cosmologist Ruth Durrer, “especially the singularity problem.” Durrer co-authored one of the two new studies on bouncing universes. In it, she and her colleagues looked for astronomical signs of such models.

In an LQC model, a precursor to our universe might have contracted under the force of gravity until it became extremely compact. Eventually quantum mechanics would have taken over. Instead of collapsing to a singularity, the universe would have started to expand again and may even have gone through an inflationary phase, as many cosmologists believe ours did.

If that happened, says physicist Ivan Agullo of Louisiana State University, it should have left a mark on the universe. Agullo, who was not affiliated with either of the recent analyses, has proposed that the mark would turn up in a feature in the CMB data known as the “bispectrum,” a measure of how different portions of the universe would have interacted in a bouncing scenario. The bispectrum would not be apparent in an image of the CMB, but it would show up in analyses of the frequencies in the ancient CMB microwaves.

“If observed,” Agullo says, the bispectrum “would serve as a smoking gun for the existence of a bounce instead of a bang.” Agullo’s group previously calculated the bispectrum as it would have appeared shortly after a cosmic bounce. Durrer and her colleagues took the calculation further, but when they compared it with the present-day Planck CMB data, there was no significant sign of a bispectrum imprint.

Although lots of other bouncing cosmos models may still be viable, the failure to find a significant bispectrum means that models that rely on LQC to deal with the anomalies in the CMB can be ruled out. It’s a sad result for Agullo, who had high hopes of finding concrete evidence of a bouncing universe. He still considers many bouncing universe models viable, however. And Paola Delgado, a cosmology Ph.D. candidate at Jagiellonian University in Poland, who worked on the new analysis that was co-authored by Durrer, says there’s one potential upside. “I heard for a long time that [attempts to merge quantum physics and cosmology] cannot be tested,” Delgado says. “I think it was really nice to see that for some classes of models, you still have some contact with observations.”

Ruling out signs of an LQC-driven cosmic bounce in Planck data means the CMB anomalies remain unexplained. But an even larger cosmic issue lingers: Did the universe have a beginning at all? As far as advocates of the big bang are concerned, it did. But that leaves us with the inscrutable singularity that started everything off.

Alternatively, according to theories of so-called cyclic cosmologies, the universe is immortal and is going through endless bounces. Although a bouncing universe may experience one or more cycles, a truly cyclic universe has no beginning and no end. It consists of a series of bounces that go back for an infinite number of cycles and will continue for an infinite number more. And because such a universe doesn’t have a beginning, there’s no big bang and no singularity.

The study that Durrer and Delgado co-authored doesn’t rule out immortal cyclic cosmologies. Plenty of theories describe such a bouncing universe in ways that would be difficult or impossible to distinguish from the “big bang plus inflation” model by looking at Planck CMB data.

But a critical flaw lurks in the idea of an eternally cycling universe, according to physicist William Kinney of the University at Buffalo, who co-authored the second recent analysis. That flaw is entropy, which builds up as a universe bounces. Often thought of as the amount of disorder in a system, entropy is related to the system’s amount of useful energy: the higher the entropy, the less energy available. If the universe increases in entropy and disorder with each bounce, the amount of usable energy available decreases each time. In that case, the cosmos would have had larger amounts of useful energy in earlier epochs. If you extrapolate back far enough, that implies a big bang–like beginning with an infinitely small amount of entropy, even for a universe that subsequently goes through cyclic bounces. (If you’re wondering how this scenario doesn’t violate the law of conservation of energy, we’re talking about available energy. Although the total amount of energy in the cosmos remains static, the amount that can do useful work decreases with increasing entropy.)

New cyclic models get around the problem, Kinney says, by requiring that the universe expands by a lot with each cycle. The expansion allows the universe to smooth out, dissipating the entropy before collapsing again. Although this explanation solves the entropy problem, Kinney and his University at Buffalo co-author Nina Stein calculated in their recent paper that the solution itself ensures that the universe is not immortal. “I feel like we’ve demonstrated something fundamental about the universe,” Kinney says, “which is that it probably had a beginning.” That implies a big bang occurred at some point, even if that event happened many bouncing universes ago, which in turn suggests that it took a singularity to get everything going in the first place.

Kinney’s paper is the latest in the debate over cyclic universes, but proponents of a universe without beginning or end have yet to respond in the scientific literature. Two leading proponents of a cyclic universe, astrophysicists Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University and Anna Ijjas of New York University, declined to comment for this article. If the history of the debate is any indication, though, we may soon hear of a work-around to counter Kinney’s analysis.

Some physicists say the Planck data only rule out a bounce under a loop quantum cosmology model that can explain away the CMB anomalies through the bispectrum, not other LQC bounce models that address anomalies using different mechanisms. Cosmologist Nelson Pinto-Neto of the Brazilian Center for Physics Research, who has studied bouncing and other cyclic models, agrees that LQC bounces that account for the CMB anomalies are likely off the table now, but he’s more sanguine on the question of a cyclic universe. “Existence is a fact. We are all here and now. Nonexistence is an abstraction of the human mind,” Nelson says. “This is the reason I think that a [cyclic universe], which has always existed, is simpler than one that has been created. However, as a scientist, I must be open to both possibilities.”

The Universe Began with a Bang, Not a Bounce, New Studies Find - Scientific American
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Re: Before the Big Bang

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Whenever I can I do enjoy listening to Brian Cox a British physicist.
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