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Thread: Why does the Universe need a beginning.

  1. #1 Why does the Universe need a beginning. 
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    Alright, I know some specific theories like the Big Bang base themselves largely in evidence like the Hubble Redshift, but there's a sense that there's more to the decision than just taking evidence and following it to an inevitable conclusion.

    People seem to feel, on some level, that there must be a first event, or that the universe must have a beginning.

    My question is why? Why can't it be enough to just accept that it always existed?

    Is it sort of an application of the concept of scale? We know the Earth didn't always exist, nor the Sun, and so ..... maybe some people just like to take that logic all the way to the universe itself?

    I ask because I just don't share this feeling. I'm trying to understand it, so maybe if I can get inside the heads of people who feel this way... maybe I might even come to agree. Who knows?


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    Well in my opinion the universe goes from the big bang to the big cruch and this event continues to occur so much that who knows how 'old' the universe actually is. On another note I can't even comprehend the idea of how this started, if by what you say there ever was a start, a beginning to all of this .


    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  4. #3  
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    I just know this is going to seem like a knobhead theory (sorry hypothesis) but we know that we are bound by the laws of our universe, these present us with the possibility that in another/previous or whatever the laws could be entirely different such as there is no begining, end or time, perhaps we are going backwards in time it just seem forward to us.

    Put yourself in a box closed from the outside world, in this box you sense you are being pushed to one side with a force of 1G. You cannot of course tell whether you are at rest on the ground, accelerating or decelerating you have no frame of reference 'outside the box'

    Same for our universe we have no frames of reference outside, we do not know even the size of our universe (except by a method we define)

    So with this in mind anybody can hypothesise what happened 'before' or how the universe sprang into being. Any idea you come with is more or less a possibility than anything Mr Hawking could dream up.

    And because we have no external reference (and can never have :wink: )
    It's not worth bothering about
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  5. #4 Re: Why does the Universe need a beginning. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Alright, I know some specific theories like the Big Bang base themselves largely in evidence like the Hubble Redshift, but there's a sense that there's more to the decision than just taking evidence and following it to an inevitable conclusion.

    People seem to feel, on some level, that there must be a first event, or that the universe must have a beginning.

    My question is why? Why can't it be enough to just accept that it always existed?

    Is it sort of an application of the concept of scale? We know the Earth didn't always exist, nor the Sun, and so ..... maybe some people just like to take that logic all the way to the universe itself?

    I ask because I just don't share this feeling. I'm trying to understand it, so maybe if I can get inside the heads of people who feel this way... maybe I might even come to agree. Who knows?
    I think the problem you run into is the second law of thermodynamics. The universe can't just have always existed because it would have run down and come to a thermal equilibrium. I'm sure this has been brought up before. For some reason, you don't like it.
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  6. #5 Re: Why does the Universe need a beginning. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    I think the problem you run into is the second law of thermodynamics. The universe can't just have always existed because it would have run down and come to a thermal equilibrium. I'm sure this has been brought up before. For some reason, you don't like it.
    Harold, could not that be considered as a trap? if it is believed that the laws came into being at [or around] the big bang, then who knows what the laws were before? we cannot imagine a universe where energy increases of itself but that does not preclude it as a possibliity, whilst in the heat of the forge our universe may have self expanded (under it's amount of energy (as it does today with the amount of 'space') but arriving at a point where laws began to 'coalesce' - all speculation of course but always interesting.
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    Why does th Universe need a beginning?

    Because Humans always need to find someone or something else to blame
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    Because it had to come some where. The way I see it all laws of the universe such as the thermodynamic law, will or will not change once we learn more about the universe and find out new info.
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    My thought on this has always been that there is a law in all that there is, whatever and wherever, that forbids nothingness. There isn't anything that can become nothing. So whatever matter, energy and space do to rid themselves, such as become a singularity shrinking to an infinitesmal point, it cannot go all the way to nothing. Thus the beginning and the ending are one and the same.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  10. #9 Re: Why does the Universe need a beginning. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Alright, I know some specific theories like the Big Bang base themselves largely in evidence like the Hubble Redshift, but there's a sense that there's more to the decision than just taking evidence and following it to an inevitable conclusion.

    People seem to feel, on some level, that there must be a first event, or that the universe must have a beginning.

    My question is why? Why can't it be enough to just accept that it always existed?

    Is it sort of an application of the concept of scale? We know the Earth didn't always exist, nor the Sun, and so ..... maybe some people just like to take that logic all the way to the universe itself?

    I ask because I just don't share this feeling. I'm trying to understand it, so maybe if I can get inside the heads of people who feel this way... maybe I might even come to agree. Who knows?
    I think the problem you run into is the second law of thermodynamics. The universe can't just have always existed because it would have run down and come to a thermal equilibrium. I'm sure this has been brought up before. For some reason, you don't like it.
    I just don't fully trust people to look at the concept of "entropy" objectively sometimes. Suppose you put a system in the most disordered state you can imagine. Left to itself, I suspect that system might begin to become more orderly instead of less. For me, the third law is replaced by a belief that all systems seek a certain amount of order/disorder. A balance.

    Look at the way nuclear physics work. You can split an atom and get energy if it's larger than Nickel or Iron. You can fuse it if it's smaller. We have this arbitrary size of atom that doesn't yield energy no matter what you do to it. So, it's not always about splitting or fusing. I think nature is full of such situations.

    Basically, if you believe the 3rd law adamantly, then you have no choice but to utterly reject the theory of evolution as being a contradiction of the laws of nature, because it would represent an example of a situation where lesser order moved spontaneously toward greater order.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    My thought on this has always been that there is a law in all that there is, whatever and wherever, that forbids nothingness. There isn't anything that can become nothing. So whatever matter, energy and space do to rid themselves, such as become a singularity shrinking to an infinitesmal point, it cannot go all the way to nothing. Thus the beginning and the ending are one and the same.
    Z - you would never make a good kabbalist. Then again trying to imagine nothing is like trying to imagine infinity.

    Maybe the Universe began first with a sound, a vibration which excited the soup of nothingness and maybe there is some truth in the bible in that respects.

    Perhaps in the 'nothingness' there was a potential a somethingness and the potential relies on a something to initiate it, but then what was the something that started it all?

    The old saying of 'as above and so below' has some meaning personally for me here to imagine nothingness by trying to apply it to experience.

    For example i might be shopping in sainsburys next week and suddenly meet someone and fall in love, prior to this i would not have had those feelings. So before this event there was nothing and after there was a something. But the potential had to exist there in the first place. Just as when a child is conceived there needs to be a seed in the first place.

    Perhaps this nothingness contains all the seeds of all the potentials in the universe. We just haven't been able to concieve imagine and find real evidence of it yet.

    This so called 'zero point energy field, seems to have potential.

    Perhaps in reality there is a big soup we're all swimming in full of far more than all the possibilities we could ever imagine.

    I like that idea it has far more potential than believing otherwise, and until we know the truth speculation and belief is all we have to go on.
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  12. #11  
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    Man sees everthing as having a begining and an end, he tries to make everything black and white, he cannot understand that these are only words he makes and thus when questions like "when does life begin" come up he has no answer because it does not conform to his belief that everything has a begining and an end, whereas in reality there is no begining and no end merely transitional stages. An embryo is a transitional stage between a pile of scattered materials and a life, same for aeroplanes ships etc.

    In the same way, I believe the universe had no begining it will have no end, the big bang was a transitional phase which led to what we have now, but what it came from or how it came from it we do not know
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    Man sees everthing as having a begining and an end, he tries to make everything black and white, he cannot understand that these are only words he makes and thus when questions like "when does life begin" come up he has no answer because it does not conform to his belief that everything has a begining and an end, whereas in reality there is no begining and no end merely transitional stages. An embryo is a transitional stage between a pile of scattered materials and a life, same for aeroplanes ships etc.

    In the same way, I believe the universe had no begining it will have no end, the big bang was a transitional phase which led to what we have now, but what it came from or how it came from it we do not know
    Ok so where did this pile of scattered material come from?

    So that means we ARE all ONE! There is no end or beginning or end to you? We are all amoeba fooled into thinking we have bodies blending and squishing around together......mm....hold that thought....................

    And that also means that everything that has happened and will happen is actually happening right now!
    I am being born and dying all at the same time.
    I am having a re-birth right now...............pass me the bong
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  14. #13 Re: Why does the Universe need a beginning. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I just don't fully trust people to look at the concept of "entropy" objectively sometimes. Suppose you put a system in the most disordered state you can imagine. Left to itself, I suspect that system might begin to become more orderly instead of less. For me, the third law is replaced by a belief that all systems seek a certain amount of order/disorder. A balance.
    <snip>
    Basically, if you believe the 3rd law adamantly, then you have no choice but to utterly reject the theory of evolution as being a contradiction of the laws of nature, because it would represent an example of a situation where lesser order moved spontaneously toward greater order.
    No, the thermodynamic law concerning entropy only applies to isolated systems. It's never been known to be violated, hence why it is called a law. An organism is not an isolated sytem because it gets energy from the outside.

    Of course, the first law of thermodynamics says energy cannot be created or destroyed, which would seem to preclude a creation at the big bang, but at least we can confine the weirdness to pre-big bang and let the universe operate according to its laws ever since.

    I suggest you read the Wikipedia article
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steady_state_theory
    The steady state theory was actually the mainstream view at one time. The article gives the reasons why it is no longer favored.
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  15. #14 Re: Why does the Universe need a beginning. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I just don't fully trust people to look at the concept of "entropy" objectively sometimes. Suppose you put a system in the most disordered state you can imagine. Left to itself, I suspect that system might begin to become more orderly instead of less. For me, the third law is replaced by a belief that all systems seek a certain amount of order/disorder. A balance.
    <snip>
    Basically, if you believe the 3rd law adamantly, then you have no choice but to utterly reject the theory of evolution as being a contradiction of the laws of nature, because it would represent an example of a situation where lesser order moved spontaneously toward greater order.
    No, the thermodynamic law concerning entropy only applies to isolated systems. It's never been known to be violated, hence why it is called a law. An organism is not an isolated sytem because it gets energy from the outside.

    Of course, the first law of thermodynamics says energy cannot be created or destroyed, which would seem to preclude a creation at the big bang, but at least we can confine the weirdness to pre-big bang and let the universe operate according to its laws ever since.

    I suggest you read the Wikipedia article
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steady_state_theory
    The steady state theory was actually the mainstream view at one time. The article gives the reasons why it is no longer favored.
    Well, where is the energy coming from that caused chemicals to form the very first more complex systems of organic matter and continue on to form complex organisms? this really is breaking the third law of thermodynamics unless you can tell me where this 'outside energy' is coming from!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minxy
    Z - you would never make a good kabbalist. Then again trying to imagine nothing is like trying to imagine infinity.
    Is that supposed to mean something?

    Why is it so hard to imagine nothing? I don't believe nothing can ever become something nor do I think of nothing as something. How does nothing have potential to become something, afterall there's nothing there to work with.

    Maybe there was 2 nothings and you know what they say about a double negative.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  17. #16 Re: Why does the Universe need a beginning. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNatendo
    Well, where is the energy coming from that caused chemicals to form the very first more complex systems of organic matter and continue on to form complex organisms? this really is breaking the third law of thermodynamics unless you can tell me where this 'outside energy' is coming from!
    I don't know what chemical reactions are needed to create life but I guess they would be driven by heat from the sun, geothermal, radiation, lightning, and that sort of thing.

    The second law of thermodynamics (or third law if you want to number them that way) is pretty solidly established. If you think you have identified a process that violates it, you have a scoop. I would call it a miracle, much as if someone were to invent a perpetual motion machine.
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    The second law of thermodynamics (or third law if you want to number them that way) is pretty solidly established.
    Let’s for the moment say that space itself is infinite and all matter was created in a small area as a result of spontaneous vacuum polarization. Also assume that all matter, including photons, are nothing more than folded up space and the spontaneous annihilation of matter according to their respective half lives are in fact the folded space unfolding in an instant, sending the most basic ripples possible (photons) in all directions, according the as yet unknown viscosity/propagating attributes of space. The expansion of space might be a result of the slow unfolding of all matter. So in thermodynamic terms, matter was created from nothing, but eventually it will revert to a neutral matter free state, effectively canceling out the imbalance?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    I can conceptualize "nothingness", and I can conceptualize a spontaneous beginning to the universe (as weird and as far-fetched as those notions may be), but for the life of me I can't conceptualize an "always existing" universe. It seems so contrary to our human experiences of beginnings and endings. And perhaps our human brain is just inadeqaute when it comes to grasping these concepts. I don't know. Either way, a steady state universe OR a universe that had a beginning is equally disturbing. Pardon me while my head explodes.
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  20. #19  
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    OPen your eyes, look around you what you see is everything.
    Close your eyes, what do you see 'nothing'

    Now look with you toe, of course you cannot, yet it is different to your eyes being closed, just like this I believe there are three levels in real life. Everything (that which you see with your eyes open), nothing (with your eyes closed) and the third level (without an eye, optic nerve, or portion of brain to perceive.
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  21. #20 Re: Why does the Universe need a beginning. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Alright, I know some specific theories like the Big Bang base themselves largely in evidence like the Hubble Redshift, but there's a sense that there's more to the decision than just taking evidence and following it to an inevitable conclusion.

    People seem to feel, on some level, that there must be a first event, or that the universe must have a beginning.

    My question is why? Why can't it be enough to just accept that it always existed?

    Is it sort of an application of the concept of scale? We know the Earth didn't always exist, nor the Sun, and so ..... maybe some people just like to take that logic all the way to the universe itself?

    I ask because I just don't share this feeling. I'm trying to understand it, so maybe if I can get inside the heads of people who feel this way... maybe I might even come to agree. Who knows?
    Because the bible says so.
    So we all had a beginning.

    I think the BB'ers are confused into believing which universe they live in. The physical or the biological?
    So they chose the biological that started out from a nothing, well almost nothing.

    Mike C
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron
    I can conceptualize "nothingness", and I can conceptualize a spontaneous beginning to the universe (as weird and as far-fetched as those notions may be), but for the life of me I can't conceptualize an "always existing" universe.
    That's interesting. I cannot handle either of these, yet it seems one or other must be valid. Since I cannot envisage either, and you can envisage one, would you concede that some people may be able to conceptualise both? And beyond that our ability, or inability, in this regard really has little to do with reality - whatever that is. I refer you to the Haldane quote below my post for my take on this, but would be interested to hear your thoughts.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    That's interesting. I cannot handle either of these, yet it seems one or other must be valid. Since I cannot envisage either, and you can envisage one, would you concede that some people may be able to conceptualise both? And beyond that our ability, or inability, in this regard really has little to do with reality - whatever that is. I refer you to the Haldane quote below my post for my take on this, but would be interested to hear your thoughts.
    I do concede that some may be able to conceptualize both. But when I try to ponder a Universe in which matter always was, I get stuck on the "so where did all this matter come from"? issue. This is not to say that I am not bothered by the spontaneous beginning scenario either. But for some reason I can accept it more. It's kind of like we accept that we had no consciousness (indeed, no life) at some point, but then at some other point we began (acquired consciousness).

    But perhaps, as I have said, our brains don't have (nor will they ever have) the capacity to fully understand notions like endless space and time. In the same way that a fishes brain could never understand the world out of the ocean and the stars above. OR.... is it the case that we COULD comprehend these things IF WE ONLY KNEW THE DETAILS? If some super-intelligent beings who have already solved these mysteries came to us and said "This is how the Universe began...", would we then go "Oh, so THAT'S how it happened - now I understand!"? Or would the explanation contain concepts so foreign and abstract and beyond human logic that we would be as fishes in the ocean, never able to make the mental quantum leap required to obtain a higher understanding?

    Your thoughts?
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    That's interesting. I cannot handle either of these, yet it seems one or other must be valid. Since I cannot envisage either, and you can envisage one, would you concede that some people may be able to conceptualise both? And beyond that our ability, or inability, in this regard really has little to do with reality - whatever that is. I refer you to the Haldane quote below my post for my take on this, but would be interested to hear your thoughts.
    I do concede that some may be able to conceptualize both. But when I try to ponder a Universe in which matter always was, I get stuck on the "so where did all this matter come from"? issue. This is not to say that I am not bothered by the spontaneous beginning scenario either. But for some reason I can accept it more. It's kind of like we accept that we had no consciousness (indeed, no life) at some point, but then at some other point we began (acquired consciousness).

    But perhaps, as I have said, our brains don't have (nor will they ever have) the capacity to fully understand notions like endless space and time. In the same way that a fishes brain could never understand the world out of the ocean and the stars above. OR.... is it the case that we COULD comprehend these things IF WE ONLY KNEW THE DETAILS? If some super-intelligent beings who have already solved these mysteries came to us and said "This is how the Universe began...", would we then go "Oh, so THAT'S how it happened - now I understand!"? Or would the explanation contain concepts so foreign and abstract and beyond human logic that we would be as fishes in the ocean, never able to make the mental quantum leap required to obtain a higher understanding?

    Your thoughts?
    Ophi and Ron:

    Since we see stars that are burning out and new ones forming, isn't that easy to see as a perpetual universe?
    Regarding the stars ,anyway?

    The biological universe can also be seen if the 'stem cells' can survive in intergalactic space at a temperature of 3K? If they can, than this living universe can also be a perpetual universe.

    Cosmo
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    Cosmo,

    I don't see how the birth and death of stars necessarily equates to a perpetual universe. It could be that there was nothing, then the Big Bang, and now we see stars being born and dying. And perhaps what we see now WILL be an endless cycle, but it needed a kick-start to begin with.

    Also, there is something illogical to me about a perpetual universe in that if the universe always was, then there would necessarily have to have been an infinite amount of time passage preceding our present time. But then how can we be here in this present time? We would had to have waited for an infinite amount of time to have passed before we arrived on the scene in this present time, but how can an infinity "pass"? In other words, where on Time's arrow would you place the arrival of humans (or any event for that matter)? No matter where you mark the event you can stack up enough time preceding that event so that you never even get to that event. Time seems to become meaningless when you start talking about infinite in both directions. At least with a beginning (the Big Bang?) you can start the clock and have meaningful discussions of relative times.

    My brain hurts.
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  26. #25 Why I lie awake at night. 
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    I have spent so many hours trying to make sense of the beginning of the universe, or if there is a beginning, at all.

    However, the original post was about WHY people need a beginning. I think that the right question is not being answered, here.

    It seems as though everyone is posting on how they believe the universe began. But that wasn't the original question, was it?

    I don't really think it matters at this point how the universe began. True, it would be a fantastic discovery to reveal the secrets of the origin of the universe, but solely for the sake of knowledge. What would we do with such information? Nothing.

    People will always have their own, personal opinions about the birth of our universe. And those opinions are influenced by religion, parents, friends, experience, personal beliefs, teachers, books, media, etc. I think some people just need the security of knowing that the universe has a definite beginning and will have a definite end. And some people need the security of knowing that the universe was never started, nor will it ever cease to exist. It is all a matter of personal comfort.

    Even if we found the starting line, what would it matter? We exist in a time somewhere in between the beginning and the end. How far in (or out) doesn't really matter. It didn't start yesterday, and it probably won't end tomorrow.

    So live for today. Cheesey, I know.

    By the way, I'm new to the forum. This is my first post. Hello, all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by svwillmer
    Well in my opinion the universe goes from the big bang to the big cruch and this event continues to occur so much that who knows how 'old' the universe actually is. On another note I can't even comprehend the idea of how this started, if by what you say there ever was a start, a beginning to all of this .
    Not wanting to shatter your opinion but erm (no actually wanting to ) lol

    The universe appears to be expanding and at an ever faster rate, thus making a "big crunch" seem highly unlikely.

    Anyway, going back to the original question. The universe didnt have a beginning it has ALWAYS existed, howver at some point for some reason symmetry shattered and the universe underwent a very rapid expansion. the biggest question ever is simply how and why ? The truth is I dont think we shall ever know.
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ron
    Time seems to become meaningless when you start talking about infinite in both directions. At least with a beginning (the Big Bang?) you can start the clock and have meaningful discussions of relative times.
    You mean the clock was there before the BB?

    I still say you need to separate the biological universe from the physical universe because we need to explain why we are here. That wouild answer the question then.

    Cosmo
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo
    You mean the clock was there before the BB?

    No. I meant that perhaps time starts with the BB.

    I'm still thinking through all of the implications though.
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    It's possible that it's like a hyberbola. As you get closer and closer to the Big Bang, time slows more and more until it hits zero rate of passage. (I mean if you could go back in time to see). So you never arrive at an actual beginning unless you traverse infinity time.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ron
    Cosmo,

    I don't see how the birth and death of stars necessarily equates to a perpetual universe. It could be that there was nothing, then the Big Bang, and now we see stars being born and dying. And perhaps what we see now WILL be an endless cycle, but it needed a kick-start to begin with.
    If the dead stars start the process again (broken down materials merge together in a different arrangement to create new stars, then the universe would, of course, change over time, but not fundamentally change.

    Also, there is something illogical to me about a perpetual universe in that if the universe always was, then there would necessarily have to have been an infinite amount of time passage preceding our present time. But then how can we be here in this present time? We would had to have waited for an infinite amount of time to have passed before we arrived on the scene in this present time, but how can an infinity "pass"? In other words, where on Time's arrow would you place the arrival of humans (or any event for that matter)? No matter where you mark the event you can stack up enough time preceding that event so that you never even get to that event. Time seems to become meaningless when you start talking about infinite in both directions. At least with a beginning (the Big Bang?) you can start the clock and have meaningful discussions of relative times.

    My brain hurts.
    Infinite time would have to simply not exist in order to avoid this objection. So you're left with wondering what "before" time means? How can it be "before" if there was no time.

    If you say that something existed before that, but it was "outside of time", then you're just re-defining what the word "time" means.


    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I just don't fully trust people to look at the concept of "entropy" objectively sometimes. Suppose you put a system in the most disordered state you can imagine. Left to itself, I suspect that system might begin to become more orderly instead of less. For me, the third law is replaced by a belief that all systems seek a certain amount of order/disorder. A balance.
    <snip>
    Basically, if you believe the 3rd law adamantly, then you have no choice but to utterly reject the theory of evolution as being a contradiction of the laws of nature, because it would represent an example of a situation where lesser order moved spontaneously toward greater order.
    No, the thermodynamic law concerning entropy only applies to isolated systems. It's never been known to be violated, hence why it is called a law. An organism is not an isolated sytem because it gets energy from the outside.

    Of course, the first law of thermodynamics says energy cannot be created or destroyed, which would seem to preclude a creation at the big bang, but at least we can confine the weirdness to pre-big bang and let the universe operate according to its laws ever since.

    I suggest you read the Wikipedia article
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steady_state_theory
    The steady state theory was actually the mainstream view at one time. The article gives the reasons why it is no longer favored.
    This could make a very interesting discussion in physics some time. The energy from the outside is entropy from the Sun's perspective. So, one system's entropy is another system's order.

    Perhaps the third law breaks down when you try to apply it to a sufficiently diverse system. Or maybe when you try to apply it to a system of infinite size is where it runs into problems. Maybe a system of infinite size can never really be considered "closed".
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  31. #30 Re: Why does the Universe need a beginning. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Alright, I know some specific theories like the Big Bang base themselves largely in evidence like the Hubble Redshift, but there's a sense that there's more to the decision than just taking evidence and following it to an inevitable conclusion.

    People seem to feel, on some level, that there must be a first event, or that the universe must have a beginning.

    My question is why? Why can't it be enough to just accept that it always existed?

    Is it sort of an application of the concept of scale? We know the Earth didn't always exist, nor the Sun, and so ..... maybe some people just like to take that logic all the way to the universe itself?

    I ask because I just don't share this feeling. I'm trying to understand it, so maybe if I can get inside the heads of people who feel this way... maybe I might even come to agree. Who knows?
    To answer your question directly, it would be an awful embarassment to admit that the universe is a SSU.

    But since the BBT is an evolving theory, than it apparently needs a beginning but to me, that is unanswerable with any realism to this question.

    Cosmo

    .
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  32. #31 Re: Why does the Universe need a beginning. 
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    People seem to feel, on some level, that there must be a first event, or that the universe must have a beginning.
    This only has relevance if you are working towards a model that requires a beginning or includes an end (and thus a beginning). If not, it's irrelevant.
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  33. #32 Re: why does the Universe need a beginning? 
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    To answer the original question, causal relationships are ubiquitous in the experience of humans. It is an extremely large, important aspect of our lives, and it is also important in academic endeavors. This is why a majority of people think there should be a cause for the Universe. It just seems like common sense. Of course, the issue is much more complex than that. It may not be accurate to use our everyday experience of causal relationships to determine whether the Universe as a whole needs a cause. It is not necessarily true that everything needs a cause. Observations on the quantum level have shown us that certain phenomena, for instance, radioactive decay, occur without a prior cause. We can only use probability to determine when it may occur. About the Universe, I believe there is a good argument to be made that it is uncaused. I believe it goes like this: The Big Bang predicts a singularity at the first time, t =0. It was from this singularity that the Universe exploded from the Big Bang and came into existence. This was the beginning of 4 dimensional space-time. But the singularity, at t =0 is not a part of the Universe; rather, it is the source of it. It exists not in the 4 dimensional Universe, but in 0, 1, or 2 dimensions. So the Big Bang occurs at t>t0. But then we can assign the beginning of the Universe a specific time, but for every time we give it we can give another even closer to t =0. But we can never reach t =0, so we can travel back asymptotically toward that time (more like a limiting concept), but never actually reach it. With this view the Universe does not need a cause. Rather than say there was some beginning event for the Universe, we can merely say that the Universe is finite with respect to its past.

    I believe some people have mentioned ideas such as a series of Big Bangs and Big Crunches, or the infinite oscillating Universe. As far as I know, there isn’t very good evidence for these models at all, and in fact there is a good deal of evidence against them. I don’t think that they are still heavily accepted. For instance, as leohopkins said, we have discovered that the expansion of the Universe is actually speeding up, which significantly lessens the probability of a Big Crunch. Also, with the oscillating Universe idea, most of these models suggest that with each new cycle there will be a gain in radiation. But that would mean that there would have to be a maximum amount of radiation in our Universe right now, given an infinite number of cycles before. This is not the case. The same can be said of entropy.
    "I don't think we're here for anything, we're just products of evolution. You can say 'Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don't think there's a purpose' but I'm anticipating a good lunch."

    -Dr. James Watson, American biologist
    (Discoverer of DNA)
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  34. #33  
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    I think it satisfies me to argue that, if the universe is absolutely infinite, that is why life can evolve in defiance of the laws of entropy. Our environment is of infinite size (though most of it is very near us), and therefore contains an infinite amount of information.

    If the universe doesn't suffer entropy like we suffer entropy, then the universe doesn't need to come to an end like we come to an end. It also doesn't need a greater thing to cause it.

    ..... And that seems to be the real question. Every call for a beginning is really a call for some greater giver of order. Something more complex that causes something less complex. Maybe the order of the universe is the one level of order that doesn't need a greater source. It's self sufficient.
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  35. #34  
    Forum Freshman teeniewitabeenie1's Avatar
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    i think harold's right....
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  36. #35  
    Forum Sophomore GrowlingDog's Avatar
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    If God created "everything" and the opposite of "everything" is "nothing" does that mean that God is nothing?
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  37. #36  
    Forum Freshman teeniewitabeenie1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrowlingDog
    If God created "everything" and the opposite of "everything" is "nothing" does that mean that God is nothing?

    ..............are you being serious?
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  38. #37  
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrowlingDog
    If God created "everything" and the opposite of "everything" is "nothing" does that mean that God is nothing?
    the opposite of "everything" is "not everything", which does not equate to "nothing"
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  39. #38  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by GrowlingDog
    If God created "everything" and the opposite of "everything" is "nothing" does that mean that God is nothing?
    the opposite of "everything" is "not everything", which does not equate to "nothing"
    No, "not everything" is the negation of "everything", not the opposite.

    For instance, the negation of North is "not North", but the opposite is South. West is "not North", but it is not the opposite of North.
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  40. #39  
    Forum Freshman teeniewitabeenie1's Avatar
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    whoa whoa whoa hold up ya'll why does the God have to be the opposite of everything just because he created it?
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  41. #40  
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    If not, then he's a paradox. We would have to ask "what made God" then, etc, etc, etc... But If God is nothing, then he's pretty much nonexistant anyway so
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  42. #41  
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    Quote Originally Posted by teeniewitabeenie1
    Quote Originally Posted by GrowlingDog
    If God created "everything" and the opposite of "everything" is "nothing" does that mean that God is nothing?

    ..............are you being serious?
    Yea i'm being serious.
    Oh and Marnix, the opposite of everything is not "not everything'. If i had a room full of furniture and you and i moved "everything" to one end of the room and then i asked you what was left at the opposite end of the room, you would have to say "nothing", if you said "not everything", it would imply there is still something there, get it?
    :-D
    Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
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  43. #42  
    Forum Freshman teeniewitabeenie1's Avatar
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    what makes you think these laws applies to God?
    Brief is this existence, as a fleeting visit in a strange house. - Alberto Einstein
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  44. #43  
    Forum Freshman teeniewitabeenie1's Avatar
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    WOW that dog at the top blinks!!!
    Brief is this existence, as a fleeting visit in a strange house. - Alberto Einstein
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  45. #44  
    Forum Sophomore GrowlingDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teeniewitabeenie1
    what makes you think these laws applies to God?
    What, the law of opposites? Come on!
    Also, that question may as well be asked of every observation made in this forum.
    Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
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  46. #45  
    Forum Bachelors Degree Shaderwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teeniewitabeenie1
    WOW that dog at the top blinks!!!
    You've been doing maple leaves again haven't you...

    Yeah, I saw it to. EVERYONE: ME SVWILLMER AND TEENIWATCHAMACALIT AINT CRAZY! WE ALL SAW IT!

    wolf... by the way, I love your picture.
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  47. #46  
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    Quote Originally Posted by teeniewitabeenie1
    what makes you think these laws applies to God?
    What's your alternative to the conundrum? In the example, a lack of everything is "not-everything" or "nothing." What's your explanation for how this concept doesn't hold true for God?

    In itself, it is logical, but yet we know that if God does exist and he did create "everything" then there's a problem. God can't be nothing, so we have to consider that perhaps the statement of "everything" is incorrect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaderwolf
    wolf... by the way, I love your picture.
    :P
    Wolf
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