Author Topic: I'm back again, with a question on origin  (Read 4463 times)

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Offline Spinner198

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I'm back again, with a question on origin
« on: January 11, 2014, 08:32:44 PM »
What currently is the natural explanation for the existence of the universe? Did the universe have a beginning or has it existed forever. What is the current dominant explanation for the origin of the universe?

Offline Mooby

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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2014, 11:06:11 PM »
The prevailing explanation is the Big Bang theory.Wiki  This theory postulates the universe had a beginning.
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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2014, 09:18:30 AM »
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2014, 01:27:14 PM »
Neither loop quantum gravity nor string theory are dominant theories, though. They are proposed models in theoretical physics that have not really been scientifically tested. The dominant theory is still the Big Bang.
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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2014, 01:30:23 PM »
Neither loop quantum gravity nor string theory are dominant theories, though. They are proposed models in theoretical physics that have not really been scientifically tested. The dominant theory is still the Big Bang.

Sort of... There are no proper solutions really and the big band is only an extrapolation of the movement of the universe today reversed. We have not managed to work out exactly what things were like at what we might call the big bang as the various calculation involve infinities. We need a unified theory of matter to do this and the Quantum Loop Gravity might be just that.

until then, everything is  a bit provisional
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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2014, 01:34:57 PM »
Is Loop Quantum Gravity mathematical like string theory? I don't know much about it.
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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2014, 02:06:21 PM »
The prevailing explanation is the Big Bang theory.Wiki  This theory postulates the universe had a beginning.

To flesh the accuracy of that out a bit, the BBT postulates that the expansion of the universe had a beginning.[1]
 1. this being synonymous with the universe being past-incomplete.
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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2014, 03:20:32 PM »
Is Loop Quantum GravityWiki mathematical like string theory? I don't know much about it.

Link added.
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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2014, 04:04:23 PM »
I read that link, but it's a bit advanced for my current knowledge base.  I do know that its Big Bounce proposition is just one of manyWiki, but as I haven't studied theoretical physics I don't have a good grasp on the details.
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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2014, 04:12:50 PM »
I read that link, but it's a bit advanced for my current knowledge base.  I do know that its Big Bounce proposition is just one of manyWiki, but as I haven't studied theoretical physics I don't have a good grasp on the details.

Try watching this then
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Offline Spinner198

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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2014, 09:28:00 PM »
It seems that virtually all considered theories involve a point of origin. Is it common knowledge that something existed before this point of origin to cause the origin, or that the origin caused itself? If so, is it reasonable to believe we will be able to explain what happened before the big bang, or do we have to accept it is outside our realm of understanding? The main question being: At some point in the past (before the big bang, before time, etc. just keep going back) did there exist complete nothingness or has something always existed? If these theories are based on spacetime, is it safe to assume that spacetime has always existed?

From my limited knowledge on the subject, from what I took from that video. The big bounce first involved a universe that was compressing into the big bounce and afterwards began expanding? Do they suggest that this big bounce occurs infinitely or that it only occurred once? Like at some point does the expansion reverse and become compression?
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 10:15:32 PM by Spinner198 »

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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2014, 05:33:33 AM »
The main question being: At some point in the past (before the big bang, before time, etc. just keep going back) did there exist complete nothingness or has something always existed? If these theories are based on spacetime, is it safe to assume that spacetime has always existed?

At extremes, our understanding tends to break down. You see this for instance with gravity. We have gravity figured out, right? First we had Newton, then Kepler improved on Newton and then Einstein improved on Kepler and now we understand gravity.
Erm ... no. If you apply Einstein's formulas to the center of a black hole, ie. the extreme of gravity, you get nonsense.

Same thing with spacetime. You mention 'before time'. What does that even mean? 'Before time'? You're stepping outside of a concept to use that concept on itself. It really is like North of the north pole.

As an aside at this point, 'complete nothingness' is also an extremely difficult concept to get one's head around. The vacume of space, for instance, is nowhere near 'complete nothingness'.

But, back to spacetime. At this point, we can't look past the Big Bang. Maybe there IS an endless cycle of bang/crunch/bang/crunch, maybe spacetime IS eternal. Or, maybe the universe DID cause itself; or, as is the case with quantum events the universe is causeless.
The point is, the only answer anyone can give you right now is "We don't know." Possibly with a "Come back in a century or two, maybe then we'll know" added.
Anyone who says that they do KNOW, is making stuff up, like the William Lane Craigs of this world.

Like at some point does the expansion reverse and become compression?

While I mentioned the bang/crunch scenario, it seems that the crunch is never going to happen in this universe. In stead, things will just continue to drift appart and decay until there's nothing left. Again, depending on what you understand as 'nothing'.
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Offline Spinner198

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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2014, 02:59:38 PM »
The main question being: At some point in the past (before the big bang, before time, etc. just keep going back) did there exist complete nothingness or has something always existed? If these theories are based on spacetime, is it safe to assume that spacetime has always existed?

At extremes, our understanding tends to break down. You see this for instance with gravity. We have gravity figured out, right? First we had Newton, then Kepler improved on Newton and then Einstein improved on Kepler and now we understand gravity.
Erm ... no. If you apply Einstein's formulas to the center of a black hole, ie. the extreme of gravity, you get nonsense.

Same thing with spacetime. You mention 'before time'. What does that even mean? 'Before time'? You're stepping outside of a concept to use that concept on itself. It really is like North of the north pole.

As an aside at this point, 'complete nothingness' is also an extremely difficult concept to get one's head around. The vacume of space, for instance, is nowhere near 'complete nothingness'.

But, back to spacetime. At this point, we can't look past the Big Bang. Maybe there IS an endless cycle of bang/crunch/bang/crunch, maybe spacetime IS eternal. Or, maybe the universe DID cause itself; or, as is the case with quantum events the universe is causeless.
The point is, the only answer anyone can give you right now is "We don't know." Possibly with a "Come back in a century or two, maybe then we'll know" added.
Anyone who says that they do KNOW, is making stuff up, like the William Lane Craigs of this world.

Like at some point does the expansion reverse and become compression?

While I mentioned the bang/crunch scenario, it seems that the crunch is never going to happen in this universe. In stead, things will just continue to drift appart and decay until there's nothing left. Again, depending on what you understand as 'nothing'.

I have thought about the concept of nothingness before, and while our minds might not be able to wrap around the visioning of it we can still understand the technical concept of it; that it simply has no properties, it causes nothing, it is caused by nothing, etc. it is the lack of everything we could possibly imagine and then some.

When I say before time, I mean to say before the existence of time. Since 'before' is also a reference to time, I guess it can be a confusing question. Back when the natural world did not exist is what I mean to ask.

If the crunch never happens in this universe, that means that the big bounce only would have happened once; at the beginning of this universe. But what does that mean for the universe before the big bounce? If it was contracting, it still either had to have a beginning or else it started at infinity and therefore would never have compressed fully like it apparently did at the big bounce.

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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2014, 03:15:45 PM »
The prevailing explanation is the Big Bang theory.Wiki  This theory postulates the universe had a beginning.

To flesh the accuracy of that out a bit, the BBT postulates that the expansion of the universe had a beginning.[1]
 1. this being synonymous with the universe being past-incomplete.

A very important distinction.
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Offline Spinner198

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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2014, 03:30:00 PM »
The prevailing explanation is the Big Bang theory.Wiki  This theory postulates the universe had a beginning.

To flesh the accuracy of that out a bit, the BBT postulates that the expansion of the universe had a beginning.[1]
 1. this being synonymous with the universe being past-incomplete.

A very important distinction.

It is safe to say that if something is expanding, that is started expanding at some point and hasn't just been expanding for an infinite amount of time. However, the most plausible and most possible theory I see now (in terms of a natural existence) is the big bounce occurring as a cyclic model to cause the universe to exist for an infinite amount of time, in theory. But this implies that our universe must eventually come to a big crunch despite the apparent evidence that it will not. Is this regarded as the best current explanation?

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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2014, 03:45:47 PM »
The prevailing explanation is the Big Bang theory.Wiki  This theory postulates the universe had a beginning.

To flesh the accuracy of that out a bit, the BBT postulates that the expansion of the universe had a beginning.[1]
 1. this being synonymous with the universe being past-incomplete.

A very important distinction.

It is safe to say that if something is expanding, that is started expanding at some point and hasn't just been expanding for an infinite amount of time. However, the most plausible and most possible theory I see now (in terms of a natural existence) is the big bounce occurring as a cyclic model to cause the universe to exist for an infinite amount of time, in theory. But this implies that our universe must eventually come to a big crunch despite the apparent evidence that it will not. Is this regarded as the best current explanation?

You appear to be conflating two separate models. If you have a spare hour, this should explain:


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Offline Spinner198

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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2014, 03:50:02 PM »
Is the big bounce inherently not able to cycle? Is the big crunch not proper terminology for the big bounce? If the big bounce is not the leading theory then what is? Is it too ambiguous at this point to trust in one particular theory over another?

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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2014, 03:50:34 PM »
I like the multiverse theory, with new universes constantly being created by black holes in old ones.

I also like the holographic universe idea. That would be too cool. However, I'd then have to acknowledge that something made the device that's doing it. But I'm a big enough hologram to admit when I'm wrong.

The scientific speculation and the theories are great fun to follow. I don't think we here at WWGHA get to choose the winner though.
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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2014, 10:51:09 AM »
Interesting video on loop quantum gravity.  Especially the part about how space might have a maximum density and when it reaches that density, it rebounds.  That's remarkably similar to something I said two and a half years ago in a totally different topic.

Granted, I didn't (and still don't) have the math to back it up, but not bad for a purely intuitive guess.  Based on this idea of space being like a sponge, I would wager that it wouldn't just repel any further energy coming in, but actually cause a chain reaction where the energy that was already in the area of maximum density got released all at once.  Like, if you have an air tank, and you keep trying to pump more air in past its limit, you ultimately cause the tank to rupture and all the air that was compressed comes flying out all at once.

Offline Spinner198

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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2014, 05:10:23 AM »
So if the big bounce is correct, then it either is repeating or not repeating. There is either only 1 bounce or an infinite number of bounces, am I correct on this? Any definite (non-infinite) number of bounces would have the same problems as 1 bounce would. It would have the problem of starting at infinity and heading towards a definite number, which would still take an infinite amount of time.

However, from what little I have seen involving the possibility of this current universe collapsing (or bouncing, compressing, crunching, etc.) says that it is highly unlikely to happen. Not sure if I have this right but it would be something like dark energy being a stronger force working towards expanding the universe than the gravitational pull of matter would have while attempting to contract it.

Of course it's all theory, but if our current universe isn't currently working towards another crunch/bounce/etc. then I don't see how this 'big bounce' theory could be correct.

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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2014, 05:20:49 AM »
Really, watch the video I posted.
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Offline Spinner198

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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2014, 05:26:21 AM »
I imagine that there is one or two lines in there that would do me good to hear, rather than however many lines they could fit in an hour and a half video. Is there a transcript of it somewhere? I would probably be able to find a quicker answer in there. Not that I just don't want to watch it, but I don't think it would do me much good to watch a video in order to point out a single difference. You obviously know what it is so why don't you save me the time and trouble?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 05:37:31 AM by Spinner198 »

Offline Ataraxia

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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2014, 05:39:00 AM »
I imagine that there is one or two lines in there that would do me good to hear, rather than however many lines they could fit in an hour and a half video. Is there a transcript of it somewhere? It would probably be able to find an answer in there. Not that I just don't want to watch it, but I don't think it would do me much good to watch a video in order to point out a single difference. You obviously know what it is so why don't you save me the time and trouble?

I'm confident in saying that watching it would do you good. Paul Steinhardt (the guy in the video) clearly and neatly, in a layman's way, explains the difference between the inflation model and the cyclic model based on string theory. He also explains how old cyclic models don't work because they also resort back to a "beginning". It's a really interesting, really easy, well illustrated presentation that would benefit your understanding.

If you watch it, you'll see that the cyclic model he presents says nothing about whether that model has a "beginning" or not. That's for further investigation if the model is what best matches the data.
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Offline Spinner198

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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2014, 05:41:35 AM »
I imagine that there is one or two lines in there that would do me good to hear, rather than however many lines they could fit in an hour and a half video. Is there a transcript of it somewhere? It would probably be able to find an answer in there. Not that I just don't want to watch it, but I don't think it would do me much good to watch a video in order to point out a single difference. You obviously know what it is so why don't you save me the time and trouble?

I'm confident in saying that watching it would do you good. Paul Steinhardt (the guy in the video) clearly and neatly, in a layman's way, explains the difference between the inflation model and the cyclic model based on string theory. He also explains how old cyclic models don't work because they also resort back to a "beginning". It's a really interesting, really easy, well illustrated presentation that would benefit your understanding.

If you watch it, you'll see that the cyclic model he presents says nothing about whether that model has a "beginning" or not. That's for further investigation if the model is what best matches the data.
Wasn't the video from earlier about the big bounce placed in the alternative to string theory or something? Was it quantum physics or was it something else?

Edit: Loop quantum gravity. That was it. Lucky I landed on the exact line on like my second click.

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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2014, 06:21:15 AM »
Wasn't the video from earlier about the big bounce placed in the alternative to string theory or something? Was it quantum physics or was it something else?

Edit: Loop quantum gravity. That was it. Lucky I landed on the exact line on like my second click.

Yes, that's another model, which takes a cyclic model and tries to work it without string theory. So, only one observable universe but three potential models, none of which have anything to say about god.
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Offline Spinner198

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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2014, 06:32:48 AM »
Wasn't the video from earlier about the big bounce placed in the alternative to string theory or something? Was it quantum physics or was it something else?

Edit: Loop quantum gravity. That was it. Lucky I landed on the exact line on like my second click.

Yes, that's another model, which takes a cyclic model and tries to work it without string theory. So, only one observable universe but three potential models, none of which have anything to say about god.
Well I would imagine not, seeing as those models were conceived in the minds of scientists with the a priori pre-supposition that God doesn't exist. I wouldn't expect a scientist like that to include God in their theory.

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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2014, 09:00:47 AM »
Wasn't the video from earlier about the big bounce placed in the alternative to string theory or something? Was it quantum physics or was it something else?

Edit: Loop quantum gravity. That was it. Lucky I landed on the exact line on like my second click.

Yes, that's another model, which takes a cyclic model and tries to work it without string theory. So, only one observable universe but three potential models, none of which have anything to say about god.
Well I would imagine not, seeing as those models were conceived in the minds of scientists with the a priori pre-supposition that God doesn't exist. I wouldn't expect a scientist like that to include God in their theory.

Actually, without and a priori assumptions. you clearly don't understand how science works and you don't like the things it comes up with. That's a shame but I suppose it is how it is.

Now, All the various researchers have done is to take the things we know - the various known laws of physics, the various particles and forces we know about and then, using maths, working out how the universe must have been 13.7 billion years ago when it was all contained in a tiny volume. The three different hypotheses have been worked out using differing ideas on the make-up of the matter and energy we know about. Could you say in which area they should have included god in the maths? I'm not sure how a god would look in maths but maybe you do?

The thing is, that whilst there is lots know about the matter and energy and forces in the universe, we have only ancient books to help with identifying and knowing anything about gods. No one has been able to make any observations of any deity in a way that would help add a deity to the maths to do the calculations. In fact, all the things worked out by science work extraordinarily  well without the additional need for adding deity. Indeed we are using, now, a most sophisticated system of computers and cabling in order to talk to each other and it all works without the need to include a god in the working out of the design (excepting Screwtape of course!)

Frankly, Spinner, instead of attacking good science you would be better employed suggesting that everything we find out is  an aspect of the god you worship (which is certainly the one true one) and admitting that, since this deity cannot be detected and science works without it, deities belong only in the mind. 
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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2014, 09:07:56 AM »
Wasn't the video from earlier about the big bounce placed in the alternative to string theory or something? Was it quantum physics or was it something else?

Edit: Loop quantum gravity. That was it. Lucky I landed on the exact line on like my second click.

Yes, that's another model, which takes a cyclic model and tries to work it without string theory. So, only one observable universe but three potential models, none of which have anything to say about god.
Well I would imagine not, seeing as those models were conceived in the minds of scientists with the a priori pre-supposition that God doesn't exist. I wouldn't expect a scientist like that to include God in their theory.

Didn't spot this before.

Carefully read what I said again. The models don't have anything to say about god. "Anything" includes non-existence. Really, you should drop your a priori pre-supposition that scientists have an a priori pre-supposition that god doesn't exist, educate yourself and realise that science doesn't do god.
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Re: I'm back again, with a question on origin
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2014, 11:02:39 AM »
Well I would imagine not, seeing as those models were conceived in the minds of scientists with the a priori pre-supposition that God doesn't exist. I wouldn't expect a scientist like that to include God in their theory.

holy crap, man, you do not get it at all, do you?

god does not explain things. 

You don't see chemical equations with "god" in them. 
You don't see geometry proofs with "god" in them. 
In physics there are no equations with a "god" constant. 
As a mechanical engineer, if I included "god" in my strengths of materials calculations, I would be fired and possibly sued and sent to jail. 

Where do you think the supernatural fits in, anywhere?  It is by definition unquantifiable.  If it existed and were detectable it would not be "supernatural".  It would be a natural, detectable, quantifiable phenomenon.

When you are trying to explain something, "god" means "I have no fucking clue".  It is giving up on answering the question.


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