Open Universe?

Most cosmologists believe that the universe is open and non-oscillating. This means that the universe will eventually become cold and dark. According to these scientists, before the big bang the entire universe was condensed into a tiny speck. This speck does not have a beginning. It always existed. If so, why did this speck suddenly explode into a big bang? You might respond that, somehow, it is in the nature of this speck to eventually explode. My question is, then, if this speck always existed why did it not explode into the big bang infinitely earlier? In short, my question is if the universe is infinite how could something which can only happen once (the big bang) EVER happen?
Atheist Answer: 

Firstly, and I'm not assuming that you intend a creator god to be the preferable explanation (though of course many do), the same question can be applied to that god. If one always existed, he/she just sat there for an eternity before acting. Why?

Secondly, models of an open, non-oscillating universe generally imply that time as we know it did not exist before (or as one apologist put it, "ontologically prior to") the Big Bang. As one part of Einstein's theoretical combination "spacetime", it was wrapped up with everything else in the singularity (speck) and its apparent forward flow began when the expansion did. Going by this type of model, it wasn't possible for anything to happen "before" the Big Bang. Stephen Hawking likened the question to asking what's north of the North Pole.

Thirdly, it's possible that there are systems of time and space outside the universe we know, and our universe was set off by one of these. There are various models of a multiverse, collectively infinite in both time and matter, where universes regularly beget other universes. There are also slightly simpler models of a single external mother universe or "metaverse" which spawns the others. These are speculative, of course, but at least the extra entities being posited are objects we know exist in at least one case, i.e. universes.

Finally, new evidence is emerging which may challenge the singularity's perceived lack of a beginning. It may be best to wait and see.

- SmartLX


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You asked why God did nothing for an eternity. The answer is that He has free will to do whatever He wants. HOWEVER, if you hold that the world is completely random, you have to answer not WHY but HOW the big bang did not happen infinitely earlier.
Second, are you arguing that time can create itself? I think God is a more logical explanation.

Reply to the reply

I suppose I should have assumed that you prefer the creator god explanation after all.

A hypothetical omnipotent god can self-evidently do whatever it wants, whenever it wants. If it was the only thing that existed prior to the universe, though, why did its wants suddenly change 13.7 billion years ago, rather than 218.9 billion years ago? Or three years ago?

God often appears the most logical explanation, until you then have to explain God. Believing that God did something does not increase one's understanding of it, but merely lets one claim that there is no understanding it. God just did it, only He knows why, and that's that. It's useless. Furthermore, the only way to support it is to rule out every other possible explanation, natural and supernatural. That can take literally forever.

One only has to explain how the Big Bang didn't happen infinitely earlier if one posits that its makings first sat inactive for an eternity. I don't know of any model at all which posits that state of affairs. Open, non-oscillating models posit no time, let alone eternity, prior to the Big Bang. Multiverse models posit an eternal chain or tree of universes, such that the emergence of this one was part of an ongoing phenomenon. Oscillating models, which we haven't considered yet, posit that the singularity is one phase of a cycle, and the last occurrence was always a relatively short time ago.

I'm arguing that time wasn't created at all, let alone by itself. (You seem to think of everything in terms of deliberate creation, and then you wonder why my position sounds so strange in that context.) Independent time, according to Einstein, is an illusion. It's one part of spacetime, a continuum of four dimensions, all of which extended outwards from one point. The three spatial dimensions went up, down, out and sideways, and time went "forward". Until that happened, it was like the other dimensions: compressed together, and inactive. Imagining passing time while time itself is in this state is not just useless, it's nonsensical.

I'm not a theoretical physicist, so I can only give superficial answers to questions like this. Stephen Hawking, on the other hand, is the theoretical physicist. This 2007 lecture lays out the basis of the open, non-oscillating model you began by attacking. See what you think.

Before the Big-Bang

Science may not have answered this question definitively yet but we sure have learnt a lot about it. And science is constantly pushing the envelope on this issue, for instance particle accelerator and gravity wave experiments.

Throughout history we have repeatedly found that simple mathematical descriptions of our observations are also the best tools to predict our universe.

This, along with theories such as Super-String theory. Makes a universe predicated on mathematical structures a sound theory.

In such a universe I feel the answer will likely be found in a form of darwinian evolution. Any theory that allowed the pre big-bang universe to evolve increasingly interactive mathematical structures would be able to explain our universe.

Which means I feel that the big-bang you referred to in your question would have been the geometric population explosion of a successful mathematical structure (with the properties of time and space we see) taking hold.

Evo uni

An evolutionary model for universes, if nothing else, would be undeniably cool.

From what I understand, time

From what I understand, time began WITH the Big Bang. Time didn't exist before; nothing existed before.

Scientists also discovered that the Big Bank theory is probably more than a theory because we now have newly discovered that the Universe is not only expanding from the explosion, but accelerating! If these observations are correct and the trend continues, it will result in the inability to see other galaxies. They have theorized on the end of the universe... but at the furthest point of our universe, essentially, beyond that just simply doesn't exist.

And as a note, people always just want to say that it's god when they can't explain something. But why on earth do they still believe the god theory even though there is scientific proof of many things?

Atheistic Mommy

More on the Big Bang

What I was trying to say is that even considering "before" in this scenario is a bit silly.

The Big Bang doesn't have to be more than a theory. A scientific theory by definition is backed by extensive research, experimentation, successful predictions and plain old evidence. Theories like this and evolution are scientific fact, but scientists continue to call them theories because it's actually a stronger word.

Folks generally believe religious explanations instead of scientific ones because they have a long-running emotional attachment to the religious ones. It's not easy to accept, let alone admit, that something you've believed all your life is wrong, no matter how obviously so.

Yes you are exactly right.

Yes you are exactly right. All I had to do was think back on how I felt 14 years ago in my transition from Christianity to Agnostic Atheism. It was absolutely horrible actually and I'm pretty sure it paired right along with an identity crisis :) Especially when being an Atheist is being part of the minority in a schools with basically all Christians, I felt alone. What got me through it was just finding people like me. And new scientific discoveries and my own research, I knew that I had done the right thing.

Atheistic Mommy