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You mean, there WAS a universe before the Big Bang?

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This image represents the evolution of the Universe, starting with the Big Bang. The red arrow marks the flow of time.
Big Bang/NASA

In “What Was Our Universe Like Before the Big Bang?”, Ryan F. Mandlebaum offers some thoughts at Gizmodo:

To be perfectly clear, we can’t definitively answer this question—but we can speculate wildly, with the help of theoretical physicist Sean Carroll from the California Institute of Technology. Carroll gave a talk last month at the bi-annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Grapevine, Texas, where he walked through several pre-Bang possibilities that would result in a universe like ours.

Again, this is a speculation, not theory. “As of yet, these aren’t established as laws of physics we understand or have checked in any way,” said Carroll. As Peter Woit, a theoretical physicist at Columbia University put it to Gizmodo, “A general piece of advice around physicists is when they say ‘we don’t understand what’s going on here,’ they really, really mean it. They’re really in the dark.” More.

One waits for an evolutionary psychologist to pop up and explain that evolution did not adapt our minds to address such questions. But no, that’s already been said about reality in general.

See also: Big Bang exterminator wanted, will train


The Big Bounce universe

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9 Replies to “You mean, there WAS a universe before the Big Bang?

  1. 1
    Charles says:

    “As of yet, these aren’t established as laws of physics we understand or have checked in any way,” said Carroll.

    Carroll should consult the Magic 8-ball. At least then he could cite some “physics” we all understand quite clearly.

  2. 2
    mw says:

    There is surely an eternal universe (a something) before the big bang. In Judaeo-Christian terms, the eternal ‘universe’ of the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and ending (Rev 1:11). In him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). It seems our universe is a universe within the eternal “All”: a universe set in eternal time and space, but created in six days as stated in unalterable law, and with the appearance of age.

    Space is space. Is God-space different?

  3. 3
    Origenes says:

    Sean Carroll: As of yet, these aren’t established as laws of physics we understand …

    … to be frank, from a materialistic point of view, we have no understanding whatsoever of the laws of physics. Honestly, we have no clue whatsoever as to what enforces these laws.

    Sean Carroll: There is a chain of explanations concerning things that happen in the universe, which ultimately reaches to the fundamental laws of nature and stops… at the end of the day the laws are what they are… And that’s okay. I’m happy to take the universe just as we find it.

    Happy or not, one thing is for sure: there cannot be, in principle, a naturalistic bottom-up explanation for immutable physical laws. A bottom-up explanation, from the level of e.g. bosons, should be expected to give rise to innumerable different ever-changing laws. By analogy, particles give rise to innumerable different conglomerations. A physical law is a clear and excellent example of top-down causation.
    Moreover a bottom-up process from bosons to physical laws is in need of constraints (laws) in order to produce a limited set of universal laws.

    Paul Davies: Physical processes, however violent or complex, are thought to have absolutely no effect on the laws. There is thus a curious asymmetry: physical processes depend on laws but the laws do not depend on physical processes. Although this statement cannot be proved, it is widely accepted.

    Saying that laws do not depend on physical processes, is another way of saying that laws cannot be explained by physical processes.

  4. 4
    Charles says:

    Origenes @ 3

    Sean Carroll: …. I’m happy to take the universe just as we find it.

    OTOH, he’s quite irate at the exact same universe God left to find.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    as to this quote from the article:

    So: the laws of physics say entropy can only increase, and today’s entropy is still very low. Carroll says that means the early universe had to have had even lower entropy—in other words, it must have been even more organized. That has implications for what things were like before the Big Bang. “There’s a lot of people who think the early universe was simple, smooth and featureless with tiny little ripples and that’s a natural place for universe to start,” said Carroll. “Once you think about entropy… your perspective changes and you realize it’s something you have to explain.”

    Besides entropy giving atheistic physicists conniption fits trying to explain the beginning of the universe, entropy also presents Darwinists with insurmountable difficulties.

    Here are two recent posts on the subject:

    January 2017 – In their compensation argument, Darwinists claim that the second law does not contradict evolution as long as you have energy entering the ‘open system’. In this case the open system is the Earth. Yet, what Darwinists do not tell you is that the energy allowed to enter the atmosphere of the Earth is constrained, i.e. finely-tuned, to 1 trillionth of a trillionth of the entire electromagnetic spectrum:

    January 2017 – That Darwinists have no real clue how life operates, thermodynamically, is revealed by the following

    But to focus in on the insurmountable problem that entropy presents to physicists in particular at the beginning of the universe.

    Entropy presents a far bigger problem for atheists than Carrol let on.

    Although the cosmological constant (dark energy) is balanced to 1 part in 10^120, and the mass density of the universe is balanced to ‘only’ 1 part in 10^60, which far exceeds, by many orders of magnitude, the highest tolerance ever achieved in any man-made machine, the odds of one particular initial condition of the universe, the ‘original phase-space volume’ of the universe, required such precision that the “Creator’s aim must have been to an accuracy of 1 part in 10^10^123”. This number is gargantuan. If this number were written out in its entirety, 1 with 10^123 zeros to the right, it could not be written on a piece of paper the size of the entire visible universe, even if a number were written down on each sub-atomic particle in the entire universe, since the universe only has 10^80 sub-atomic particles in it.

    “The time-asymmetry is fundamentally connected to with the Second Law of Thermodynamics: indeed, the extraordinarily special nature (to a greater precision than about 1 in 10^10^123, in terms of phase-space volume) can be identified as the “source” of the Second Law (Entropy).”
    Roger Penrose – The Physics of the Small and Large: What is the Bridge Between Them?

    “This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123.”
    – Roger Penrose – The Emperor’s New Mind, pp 339-345 – 1989

    “The ‘accuracy of the Creator’s aim’ would have had to be in 10^10^123”
    Hawking, S. and Penrose, R., The Nature of Space and Time, Princeton, Princeton University Press (1996), 34, 35.

    “An explosion you think of as kind of a messy event. And this is the point about entropy. The explosion in which our universe began was not a messy event. And if you talk about how messy it could have been, this is what the Penrose calculation is all about essentially. It looks at the observed statistical entropy in our universe. The entropy per baryon. And he calculates that out and he arrives at a certain figure. And then he calculates using the Bekenstein-Hawking formula for Black-Hole entropy what the,,, (what sort of entropy could have been associated with,,, the singularity that would have constituted the beginning of the universe). So you’ve got the numerator, the observed entropy, and the denominator, how big it (the entropy) could have been. And that fraction turns out to be,, 1 over 10 to the 10 to the 123rd power. Let me just emphasize how big that denominator is so you can gain a real appreciation for how small that probability is. So there are 10^80th baryons in the universe. Protons and Neutrons. Now suppose we put a zero on every one of those. OK, how many zeros is that? That is 10^80th zeros. This number has 10^123rd zeros. OK, so you would need a hundred million, trillion, trillion, trillion, universes our size, with zero on every proton and neutron in all of those universes just to write out this number. That is how fine tuned the initial entropy of our universe is. And if there were a pre-Big Bang state and you had some bounces, then that fine tuning (for entropy) gets even finer as you go backwards if you can even imagine such a thing.”
    Dr Bruce Gordon – Contemporary Physics and God Part 2 – video – 1:50 minute mark – video

    Moreover, this 1 in 10^10^123 is so finely tuned that it drives atheistic materialism into catastrophic epistemological failure.

    In the following article and video, William Lane Craig explains the epistemological failure that results for Atheistic Materialism for the initial 1 in 10^10^123 entropy of the universe

    Multiverse and the Design Argument – William Lane Craig
    Excerpt: Roger Penrose of Oxford University has calculated that the odds of our universe’s low entropy condition obtaining by chance alone are on the order of 1 in 10^10(123), an inconceivable number. If our universe were but one member of a multiverse of randomly ordered worlds, then it is vastly more probable that we should be observing a much smaller universe. For example, the odds of our solar system’s being formed instantly by the random collision of particles is about 1 in 10^10(60), a vast number, but inconceivably smaller than 1 in 10^10(123). (Penrose calls it “utter chicken feed” by comparison [The Road to Reality (Knopf, 2005), pp. 762-5]). Or again, if our universe is but one member of a multiverse, then we ought to be observing highly extraordinary events, like horses’ popping into and out of existence by random collisions, or perpetual motion machines, since these are vastly more probable than all of nature’s constants and quantities’ falling by chance into the virtually infinitesimal life-permitting range. Observable universes like those strange worlds are simply much more plenteous in the ensemble of universes than worlds like ours and, therefore, ought to be observed by us if the universe were but a random member of a multiverse of worlds. Since we do not have such observations, that fact strongly disconfirms the multiverse hypothesis. On naturalism, at least, it is therefore highly probable that there is no multiverse. — Penrose puts it bluntly “these world ensemble hypothesis are worse than useless in explaining the anthropic fine-tuning of the universe”.

    Does a Multiverse Explain the Fine Tuning of the Universe? – Dr. Craig (observer selection effect vs. Boltzmann Brains) – video

    As well, the inflationary multiverse, Carrol’s self stated favorite, also suffers from catastrophic epistemological failure:

    A Matter of Considerable Gravity: On the Purported Detection of Gravitational Waves and Cosmic Inflation – Bruce Gordon – April 4, 2014
    Excerpt: Thirdly, at least two paradoxes result from the inflationary multiverse proposal that suggest our place in such a multiverse must be very special: the “Boltzmann Brain Paradox” and the “Youngness Paradox.” In brief, if the inflationary mechanism is autonomously operative in a way that generates a multiverse, then with probability indistinguishable from one (i.e., virtual necessity) the typical observer in such a multiverse is an evanescent thermal fluctuation with memories of a past that never existed (a Boltzmann brain) rather than an observer of the sort we take ourselves to be. Alternatively, by a second measure, post-inflationary universes should overwhelmingly have just been formed, which means that our existence in an old universe like our own has a probability that is effectively zero (i.e., it’s nigh impossible). So if our universe existed as part of such a multiverse, it would not be at all typical, but rather infinitely improbable (fine-tuned) with respect to its age and compatibility with stable life-forms.

    Thus, basically you are sucker if you fall for any of Carrol’s tripe that tries to ‘explain away’ the initial entropy of the universe.

    Psalm 102:25-27
    Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will have no end.

    “We have the sober scientific certainty that the heavens and earth shall ‘wax old as doth a garment’….
    Dark indeed would be the prospects of the human race if unilluminated by that light which reveals ‘new heavens and a new earth.’”
    Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin (1824 – 1907) – pioneer in many different fields, particularly electromagnetism and thermodynamics.

    Romans 8:18-21
    I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

    Moreover, from the best scientific evidence we have, we now know that mass-energy and space time were brought instantaneously into being at the Big Bang:

    “Every solution to the equations of general relativity guarantees the existence of a singular boundary for space and time in the past.”
    (Hawking, Penrose, Ellis) – 1970

    Big Bang Theory – An Overview of the main evidence
    Excerpt: Steven Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose turned their attention to the Theory of Relativity and its implications regarding our notions of time. In 1968 and 1970, they published papers in which they extended Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity to include measurements of time and space.1, 2 According to their calculations, time and space had a finite beginning that corresponded to the origin of matter and energy.”3
    Steven W. Hawking, George F.R. Ellis, “The Cosmic Black-Body Radiation and the Existence of Singularities in our Universe,” Astrophysical Journal, 152, (1968) pp. 25-36.
    Steven W. Hawking, Roger Penrose, “The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, series A, 314 (1970) pp. 529-548.

    Thus, as far as we can know scientifically, we know that whatever existed before the Big Bang had to be transcendent of mass-energy and space time. Yet, the only things that we know of that are transcendent of mass-energy and space time are information and consciousness.

    Dr. Stephen Meyer comments on the transcendent nature of information here:

    “One of the things I do in my classes, to get this idea across to students, is I hold up two computer disks. One is loaded with software, and the other one is blank. And I ask them, ‘what is the difference in mass between these two computer disks, as a result of the difference in the information content that they posses’? And of course the answer is, ‘Zero! None! There is no difference as a result of the information. And that’s because information is a mass-less quantity. Now, if information is not a material entity, then how can any materialistic explanation account for its origin? How can any material cause explain it’s origin?
    And this is the real and fundamental problem that the presence of information in biology has posed. It creates a fundamental challenge to the materialistic, evolutionary scenarios because information is a different kind of entity that matter and energy cannot produce.
    In the nineteenth century we thought that there were two fundamental entities in science; matter, and energy. At the beginning of the twenty first century, we now recognize that there’s a third fundamental entity; and its ‘information’. It’s not reducible to matter. It’s not reducible to energy. But it’s still a very important thing that is real; we buy it, we sell it, we send it down wires.
    Now, what do we make of the fact, that information is present at the very root of all biological function? In biology, we have matter, we have energy, but we also have this third, very important entity; information. I think the biology of the information age, poses a fundamental challenge to any materialistic approach to the origin of life.”
    -Dr. Stephen C. Meyer – Intelligent design: Why can’t biological information originate through a materialistic process? – video

    The irreducibility of consciousness to any conceivable materialistic explanation is touched upon in the following quotes:

    “Nobody has the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious. Nobody even knows what it would be like to have the slightest idea about how anything material could be conscious. So much for the philosophy of consciousness. Regardless of our knowledge of the structure of the brain, no one has any idea how the brain could possibly generate conscious experience.”
    Jerry Fodor – Rutgers University philosopher

    “Every day we recall the past, perceive the present and imagine the future. How do our brains accomplish these feats? It’s safe to say that nobody really knows.”
    Sebastian Seung – Massachusetts Institute of Technology neuroscientist

    “Those centermost processes of the brain with which consciousness is presumably associated are simply not understood. They are so far beyond our comprehension at present that no one I know of has been able even to imagine their nature.”
    Roger Sperry – Nobel neurophysiologist

    “We have at present not even the vaguest idea how to connect the physio-chemical processes with the state of mind.”
    Eugene Wigner – Nobel prize-winner

    “Science’s biggest mystery is the nature of consciousness. It is not that we possess bad or imperfect theories of human awareness; we simply have no such theories at all. About all we know about consciousness is that it has something to do with the head, rather than the foot.”
    Nick Herbert – Contemporary physicist

    “No experiment has ever demonstrated the genesis of consciousness from matter. One might as well believe that rabbits emerge from magicians’ hats. Yet this vaporous possibility, this neuro-mythology, has enchanted generations of gullible scientists, in spite of the fact that there is not a shred of direct evidence to support it.”
    Larry Dossey – Physician and author

    Thus it follows that since mass-energy and space-time were instantaneously brought into being at the Big Bang, and since consciousness and information are irreducible to any coherent materialistic explanation then, scientifically, it follows that consciousness and information are our leading candidates for realistically explaining what brought the universe into being at the Big Bang.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    As to establishing the fact that consciousness must precede material reality, in the quantum zeno effect we find that “an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.”

    Quantum Zeno Effect
    “The quantum Zeno effect is,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.”

    Interaction-free measurements by quantum Zeno stabilization of ultracold atoms – 14 April 2015
    Excerpt: In our experiments, we employ an ultracold gas in an unstable spin configuration, which can undergo a rapid decay. The object—realized by a laser beam—prevents this decay because of the indirect quantum Zeno effect and thus, its presence can be detected without interacting with a single atom.

    Quantum Zeno effect
    “It has been experimentally confirmed,, that unstable particles will not decay, or will decay less rapidly, if they are observed. Somehow, observation changes the quantum system. We’re talking pure observation, not interacting with the system in any way.”
    Douglas Ell – Counting to God – pg. 189 – 2014 – Douglas Ell graduated early from MIT, where he double majored in math and physics. He then obtained a masters in theoretical mathematics from the University of Maryland. After graduating from law school, magna cum laude, he became a prominent attorney.

    This is just fascinating! How in blue blazes can conscious observation put a freeze on entropic decay, unless consciousness was and is more foundational to reality than the 1 in 10^10^123 initial entropy is?
    This finding rules out any possibility that my consciousness was and is the result of the thermodynamic processes of the universe and of my brain.
    In fact, I hold it to be scientific proof that consciousness must precede material reality just as the Christian Theist has always presupposed.

    Moreover, an ‘uncollapsed’ photon, in its quantum wave state, is mathematically defined as ‘infinite’ information:

    Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
    Excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a (quantum) qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1)

    Quantum Computing – Stanford Encyclopedia
    Excerpt: Theoretically, a single qubit can store an infinite amount of information, yet when measured (and thus collapsing the Quantum Wave state) it yields only the classical result (0 or 1),,,

    Moreover, this ‘infinite information’ quantum qubit is also mathematically defined as being in an ‘infinite dimensional’ state:

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: We now have, in physics, two theories of great power and interest: the theory of quantum phenomena and the theory of relativity.,,, The two theories operate with different mathematical concepts: the four dimensional Riemann space and the infinite dimensional Hilbert space,

    Wave function
    Excerpt “wave functions form an abstract vector space”,,, This vector space is infinite-dimensional, because there is no finite set of functions which can be added together in various combinations to create every possible function.

    Thus every time we observe/measure, (i.e. collapse a quantum qubit of), a single photon we are actually seeing just a single bit of information that was originally created from a very specific set of infinite information that was known by the infinite consciousness that preceded material reality. i.e. information that was known only by the infinite Mind of omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, God!

    Job 38:19-20
    “What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside? Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings?”

    Hebrews 11:3
    By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.

    Moreover, Feynman stated that,,,

    “It always bothers me that in spite of all this local business, what goes on in a tiny, no matter how tiny, region of space, and no matter how tiny a region of time, according to laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical operations to figure out. Now how can all that be going on in that tiny space? Why should it take an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one stinky tiny bit of space-time is going to do?”
    – Richard Feynman – one of the founding fathers of QED (Quantum Electrodynamics)
    Double Slit, Quantum-Electrodynamics, and Christian Theism – video

    I don’t know about Feynman, but as for myself, being a Christian Theist, I find it rather comforting to know that it takes an ‘infinite amount of logic to figure out what one stinky tiny bit of space-time is going to do’:

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

    of note: ‘the Word’ in John1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos is also the root word from which we derive our modern word logic

    Supplemental Notes:

    Special and General Relativity and The Resurrection of Jesus Christ as the “Theory of Everything” – video playlist

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    Just a note, true nothing — non being — hath no causal powers. Were there ever utter nothing, such would forever obtain. So, if a world now is, some root of reality always was. Where, an infinite stepwise causally incremental succession is not traversible due to endless succession. So, the credible alternative is a necessary being root of reality. And such a being would be eternal. If that sounds a lot like key Divine attributes, that should give pause. KF

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    BA 77, look up Nobel Prize winning Physicist Richard Feynmann! His survey course on Physics alone is a classic. Speaking of, last week I found Savelyev’s 3 volume General Physics and his two Volume Theoretical Physics are at now. Great news. KF

  9. 9
    Pearlman says:

    just kicking the can down the road while digging self into ever bigger hole.
    the greater the claim the greater the burden of proof.
    this claim not even on par w/ sponge-bob cartoon for imaginative explaining away of the reality 🙂
    the reality is a start by a big bang, as explained by SPIRAL cosmological redshift hypothesis and cosmology model.

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