Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Is that cold “No Big Bang” universe impossible at the outset…?

arroba Email

… because a past infinity is impossible?

Earlier today, we noted a new “No Big Bang” theory that posits instead an infinite very cold past, in which “Instead of a singularity (which is what the Big Bang necessarily is), we must accept a hypothetical cosmon field.” Philosopher friends have written to complain, not about the cosmon field (we had thought that would be the hard sell), but about the notion of an infinite past.

One philosopher tells us that there cannot be an infinite past. A Google search was attempted and William Lane Craig, of all people, turned up, explaining why a past infinity cannot occur:

Suppose we meet a man who claims to have been counting down from infinity and who is now finishing: . . ., -3, -2, -1, 0. We could ask, why didn’t he finish counting yesterday or the day before or the year before? By then an infinite time had already elapsed, so that he should already have finished. Thus, at no point in the infinite past could we ever find the man finishing his countdown, for by that point he should already be done! In fact, no matter how far back into the past we go, we can never find the man counting at all, for at any point we reach he will already have finished. But if at no point in the past do we find him counting, this contradicts the hypothesis that he has been counting from eternity. This shows again that the formation of an actual infinite by never beginning but reaching an end is as impossible as beginning at a point and trying to reach infinity. More.

What you think?

Follow UD News at Twitter!

"Hilbert's Hotel" is a good example of why actual infinities cannot and do not exist. ciphertext
If time began at the Big Bang an eternal past is an absurdity. turell
Craig is right. Blue_Savannah
Mathematician David Hilbert, using purely mathematical reasoning, established that no actual infinities can exist in the universe. This prohibition applies to time as well as matter. The argument is a bit mind bending and I'll do my best to explain it but for a fuller explanation I recommend Spitzer's New Proofs for the Existence of God. If past time is infinite then any part of that time, even an infinite part, amounts to zero time. Hence parts of infinite time cannot be aggregated to constitute the whole of past time. The impossibility of infinite past time has been well known and understood since at least the 1930s. Yet it is constantly presented as a solution to a universe with no beginning. Someone needs to spread the word to the cosmologists who never cease patting themselves on the back every time they resurrect this worn out and false proposition. Laszlo
Infinite anything is nonsense. Mapou

Leave a Reply