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At Big Think: What happened before the Big Bang?

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Well, nothing, really. That’s the point. But many are unhappy with the philosophical implications of that:

Let’s face it: to think that the universe has a history that started with a kind of birthday some 13.8 billion years ago is weird. It resonates with many religious narratives that posit that the cosmos was created by divine intervention, although science has nothing to say about that.

If everything that happens can be attributed to a cause, what caused the universe? To deal with the very tough question of the First Cause, religious creation myths use what cultural anthropologists sometimes call a “Positive Being,” a supernatural entity. Since time itself had a beginning at some point in the distant past, that First Cause had to be special: it had to be an uncaused cause, a cause that just happened, with nothing preceding it.

Marcelo Gleiser, “What happened before the Big Bang?” at BigThink (June 9, 2021)

Gleiser goes on at some length, clarifying that science has nothing to say about events before the Big Bang: “The mystery of the First Cause remains. You can choose religious faith as an answer, or you can choose to believe science will conquer it all.”

But, in the context, what does “science will conquer it all” mean? How does science “conquer” the question: How did the universe come to exist? Either God or no answer.

What happened before anything happened? It’s a meaningless question within itself unless one posits a First Cause or God.

Science, like an afghan, tends to fray at the edges.

See also: The Big Bang: Put simply, the facts are wrong.

If you truly believe that A. humans created God B. God was created by something else C. God evolved D. They were infinite gods before God they created gods more powerful than the next Then you have a failed perception of what people really do believe If your the moron that claims “magic man in the sky” because you think you’re smarter than everybody else then you are literally are an arrogant moron Your failed perception of what the believers you fight against is something that we also do not agree with And it’s annoying when you attack your version of God which is not one that I hold I nor was I ever taught about, the god you refuted is a failed excuse of a strawman argument atheists commonly deploy to make themselves look and feel smarter I hadn’t realized atheists had such a failed perception of God until I encountered atheists like Dawkins complaining about what made God If you were literally asking that question then just hang up and walk away because you do not understand what millions of Christians actually believe in Which for your information is an internal being that it’s existed, well forever. And if you ask the rubbish question “what was god doing before he created the universe” I will simply replied with “well whatever God wanted to do” Stupid childish questions deserve stupid childish answers AaronS1978
Actually, the answer to the question “who created God” is found on the back of Jethro Tull’s Aqualung album cover…. chuckdarwin
What gets me is how irrational the materialists get when considering this problem. They go through all sorts of mental contortions to rationalize or ignore the fact that there was no "before the Big Bang" since time and space couldn't exist in the singularity. Instead they just illogically assume, for instance, some sort of eternal spacetime continuum in which there was eternal inflation and spontaneous creation of universes to form a multiverse. Or that the Big Bang was really a "Big Bounce", the result of expansion and then contraction of the previous cycle in an eternal series of expansions and contractions. In all of these mental contortions they complacently (or is it desperately?) ignore the obvious question of the origin of the very high order of organization based on mathematical principles and underlying laws of physics which must govern this postulated reality. This system must obviously be the creation of an ultimately high order of intelligence and power since systems embodying high degrees of complex specified information (in essence incredibly intricate machines) don't come about by themselves. God forbid, since that would be magic. This sort of thinking (assuming the creatorless reality of an obviously high order of complexity that has no beginning and no intelligent Source), is obviously irrational. But is resorted to out of desperation. doubter
Yep. Good analogy, Fasteddious! So imagine stepping out of time, so you can see the beginning and the end and all points in between occurring simultaneously. This is one way to add a second Time dimension as you've described in your linked blog article. We already experience multiple time dimensions when the time remaining on a download, for example, gets longer rather than shorter, perhaps due to a degrading internet connection. But we're often stuck thinking temporally. To try to remove Time dimensions, imagine causality in a state machine as an instant cascade of changes. An analogy to imagine this is changing a value in a spreadsheet and seeing all the dependent calculations update instantly. But even this becomes difficult to imagine when we consider how choice or purpose might work within such as environment. Not surprisingly, God's thoughts and ways are beyond our comprehension, but we can rely on trust in our Creator, His love for His creation, and His genius. Just as you described in your blog article, I hold these speculations very loosely for more open-minded thinking and use them only to collapse objections such as "So, who created God?" -Q Querius
An easy analogy is an engineer's computer simulation of some physical situation. In the simulation, time begins at t = 0, and proceeds with positive (increasing) time. There is no "before" as the engineer set up the model and its initial conditions before starting the simulation going at t = 0. Asking what happened within the simulation "before" t = 0 is meaningless. Of course there is a before for the engineer, but his time is not part of the simulated situation. In our case, God could have spent a lot of his time (eternity?) preparing for creation, and then at our t = 0, set it in motion as what we detect and model as the big bang. He then observes it in his time, which may be faster or slower than ours. He may even stop time for us while he examines his handiwork before restarting it. For further possibilities of this scenario, see: https://thopid.blogspot.com/2019/01/our-simulated-world.html Fasteddious
The problem that many people stumble over is that they imagine the big bang as empty space in which there was a big explosion caused ultimately by quantum fluctuations. BUT . . . Einstein showed us that what we observe as space and time are bound together as space-time (same with mass-energy). So, when the universe went through its initial inflation, it included time as well as space and neither had any existence before this event. Without time, there are no probabilities, no fluctuations, and no "before." It all starts with "In the beginning . . ." Yet there's a singularity that initiated space-time, causality, information, choice, probability, chaos, fine tuning, and consciousness. Neither science or math does well with singularities, but everything we know and can repeat is based on causality and causality is interrelated with information. Causality demands an intelligent, conscious agent that's not a part of the natural inflating universe. This agent must be supernatural (as in outside of nature) and outside our existence. Outside of space-time and mass-energy, this entity can only be conceived of by us as an eternal "now" and an eternal "everywhere." This agent is not accessible to us through our tools of physics and mathematics. For example, love cannot be measured in calories or candelas. It just is. -Q Querius

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