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Thread: Infinite Past?

  1. #1 Infinite Past? 
    Ron
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    First, I apologize if this has been discussed before, as I am new to the forum. Anyway, it seems that there are but 2 possible scenarios: either time had a definite beginning, or there was no beginning and the past is infinite.

    The fact that we are here indicates that there HAD to be a beginning to time. Because if the past was infinite, then an infinite amount of time would have had to pass before you were born, which means you would never get to be born.

    Is this logic sound? Anybody disagree?

    Thanks,
    Ron


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    From two perspectives:

    If you're atheist:
    = there is no origin of things. What you have is infinite regression (I'm not saying all persons have this view, I'm saying it would be more logical to conclude this if you're atheist).

    If you're theist:
    = there is an origin for all physical things: God.
    = there is no origin for all metaphysical things (specifically, God).

    Hope that answers your question. P.S. look up infinite regression, and you'd see what I'm talking about.


    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    even when you look at it from a purely scientific point of view, the various big bang theories fall in 2 categories : the ones for which time and space started in the big bang, and the ones where something (including time) preceeded the big bang

    in the first case the past is finite, in the second it is infinite

    at present it isn't clear which of the 2 approaches is clostest to the truth
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    even when you look at it from a purely scientific point of view, the various big bang theories fall in 2 categories : the ones for which time and space started in the big bang, and the ones where something (including time) preceeded the big bang

    in the first case the past is finite, in the second it is infinite

    at present it isn't clear which of the 2 approaches is clostest to the truth
    You know, the first is no different than saying God exists. You're essentially saying something came from nothing. What in the world is nothingness? Do you have proof that nothingness exists? People who agree with the first view and aren't religious (0r don't believe in God) are quite hypocritical.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    uhm, not exactly, this article in new scientist seems to indicate that the interaction between "branes" in 4D space can make it appear from our limited 3D point of view that something came out of nothing

    the physics, however, is beyond me, so i just take it at face value that it is possible to explain a big bang with space and time starting at the same time in purely scientific terms without supernatural intervention
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    it puzzles me why acceptance of a one theory over another, should be based on religious beliefs. to my knowledge no God, of any form of religion mentions a birth of that god. this implies their God has always existed or been, which eliminates no universal theory. day one to four has change for those literalist to being indeterminable lengths. day one then could simply be an eternity. keep in mind eternity often mentioned as a future implies never ending as well.

    BBT, in most cases does refer to a beginning and general some form of an end, although embraced by some for the mention of creation, but forgets the eternal factor...

    SSU, or that which indicates always been and always will be, fits just fine with a God, or both have always existed.

    Ron; regardless of how or when the universe began if a time is required has nothing to do with matter and the formations of what is in the universe. matter as understood is infinite, at least to some final demise. the process for all things is from other matter which has died, becoming dust, debris, gas, elements and so on which gather into new matter, forming new stars, creating new energy, possibly new life which all go through the same process as all that formed them did before.
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    Hey Ron. This is my opinion:

    Can time be measured without change? If there is no change, is there no time? They seem to be intimately connected. The universe is changing, and we use change to measure time. What causes something to change? If it's not changing then is is not in some sort of equilibrium? I believe so.

    Every change we observe is a trajectory from one stable state to a final state. Is this phenomenon hints of a larger spectacle? I think so: All that we see in the universe may be but a trajectory of some larger super-verse from one stable point, before the Big Bang to some final stable point whatever the universe is heading towards. When it reaches that point, time as we understand it form the perspective of change, will stop.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    uhm, not exactly, this article in new scientist seems to indicate that the interaction between "branes" in 4D space can make it appear from our limited 3D point of view that something came out of nothing
    Edit: " 'branes' in 4D space..."?
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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  10. #9  
    Ron
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    Thanks for everybody's input. Good points are made. But without overthinking this, and religion aside, how could we be here IF the past is infinite? Obviously, we are here, so there cannot be an infinite amount of time that has passed - infinities don't "pass." So it seems undeniable to me that time indeed had a "beginning." You can't "rewind the cosmological film" ad infinitum. Granted, this notion is perhaps equally difficult to digest, but that seems to be the more logical view. As for the "cause" of time, that is a different matter altogether, and not the subject of this query.

    Ron
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    i don't see any insurmountable problem with us being here and time at the same time being infinite - i don't see how one has to follow from the other

    besides physics is notoriously bad at dealing with singularities and infinities
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Unless we live in a oscillating universe in which case time as we see it would have a beginning and an end, but if i was sitting in that nothingness having a cup of tea watching it all happen it would appear to me to have an infinite life cycle.
    Eat Dolphin, save the Tuna!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat1981(England)
    Unless we live in a oscillating universe in which case time as we see it would have a beginning and an end, but if i was sitting in that nothingness having a cup of tea watching it all happen it would appear to me to have an infinite life cycle.
    Sometimes I imagine myself riding a trjectory in the Lorenz attractor and wondering what I'd see: An expanding universe all about me?

    yea, I know . . . off-subject. Interesting though.
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    Zeta I thought you were being poetical as I read that, I half expected a host of golden daffodils...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    Zeta I thought you were being poetical as I read that, I half expected a host of golden daffodils...
    Might I explain for those not familiar with strange attractors?

    The Lorenz Attractor is a "strange attractor", you know, that butterfly plot of Chaos Theory. It's a fractal if the trajectory is plotted as a long line segment: no matter how deep you look, there are always "plans within plans", (lines between lines if you evolve it long enough). So if I'm some line-segment creature riding the tip-end of the trajectory and looking all about me, I see other line segments starting to emerge with time: my line-segment space from my perspective is "expanding".

    . . . hummmm . . . the Lorenz Attractor emerges from non-linear dynamics, our universe is massively non-linear . . . I wonder.
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    The dichotomy in the opening statement is a false one. Many theoretical physicists would first want some evidence that 'time' exists and a definition of 'time'. There isn't anything in physics, especially what we now know of quantum mechanics, that necessitates a time variable. Relativity shows 'time' to be just that...relative and not more than a perception of a particular state of matter and energy.

    Many papers have been written on the theory of time and its place, if any, in the physical properties of the universe. Is time 'something' or is it just a perceptual overlay of organisms to make logic of what we experience through our limited senses and intelligence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jellyologist
    The dichotomy in the opening statement is a false one. Many theoretical physicists would first want some evidence that 'time' exists and a definition of 'time'. There isn't anything in physics, especially what we now know of quantum mechanics, that necessitates a time variable. Relativity shows 'time' to be just that...relative and not more than a perception of a particular state of matter and energy.

    Many papers have been written on the theory of time and its place, if any, in the physical properties of the universe. Is time 'something' or is it just a perceptual overlay of organisms to make logic of what we experience through our limited senses and intelligence.
    Time = progression/development/change
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by Jellyologist
    The dichotomy in the opening statement is a false one. Many theoretical physicists would first want some evidence that 'time' exists and a definition of 'time'. There isn't anything in physics, especially what we now know of quantum mechanics, that necessitates a time variable. Relativity shows 'time' to be just that...relative and not more than a perception of a particular state of matter and energy.

    Many papers have been written on the theory of time and its place, if any, in the physical properties of the universe. Is time 'something' or is it just a perceptual overlay of organisms to make logic of what we experience through our limited senses and intelligence.
    Time = progression/development/change

    Many theoretical physicists see matter and energy in an almost infinite variation of itself (like points in mathematics making up a number line ora curve). Quantum states exist in not any progresion or development but in random points in space.
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  19. #18  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Time = progression/development/change
    how about time = increasing entropy ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  20. #19  
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    Everything has a start point, no matter how long ago.

    like big bangs, big bangs of time it self.

    and every start point has a end!
    shiva108
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  21. #20  
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    Space doesn't seem to begin anywhere or end anywhere, so why should time?
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