Before the Big Bang
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14-01-2014, 10:19 AM
Before the Big Bang
As a (relatively) new atheist, I still find myself struggling with the concept of the "first cause" argument. Recently, I have read some books that have helped me develop some understanding of the issue (especially helpful were Stephen Hawking's Brief History of Time as well as Atheist Universe -- I forget the author's name). I'm no expert on the subject and I don't pretend to be.

This morning a thought occurred to me that I'm sure has occurred to other, more talented minds in the past, so I thought I'd present it here and see if I can learn something new.

Here's my thought: Time is relative. We know that. Time depends on the observer, and two observers with two different circumstances will experience time in different ways (the twins paradox).

Now, if time is a dimension, and space-time is curved as Einstein suggests, would it follow that there is no such thing as "before" the Big Bang?

Picture it like this: If I started traveling north, I would eventually reach the North Pole. If I continued traveling in the same direction, straight ahead, I would be traveling south. Even though I had not changed direction, I would be traveling north with one step and south with the next.

Would going backward in time work the same way? I can keep going back and back and back until I reached the "temporal north pole," aka, the Big Bang, and if I continued in the same direction, I would suddenly find myself moving forward in time. The reason we cannot fathom "before the Big Bang" is that there literally IS no "before the Big Bang," just as there is no "one step further north" than the North Pole.

Thoughts?
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14-01-2014, 10:20 AM
RE: Before the Big Bang
Maybe bang your head Really hard against the keyboard a few times to dislodge that silliness............


(just a suggestion)
*grin*

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14-01-2014, 10:45 AM
RE: Before the Big Bang
(14-01-2014 10:19 AM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  As a (relatively) new atheist, I still find myself struggling with the concept of the "first cause" argument. Recently, I have read some books that have helped me develop some understanding of the issue (especially helpful were Stephen Hawking's Brief History of Time as well as Atheist Universe -- I forget the author's name). I'm no expert on the subject and I don't pretend to be.

This morning a thought occurred to me that I'm sure has occurred to other, more talented minds in the past, so I thought I'd present it here and see if I can learn something new.

Here's my thought: Time is relative. We know that. Time depends on the observer, and two observers with two different circumstances will experience time in different ways (the twins paradox).

Now, if time is a dimension, and space-time is curved as Einstein suggests, would it follow that there is no such thing as "before" the Big Bang?

Picture it like this: If I started traveling north, I would eventually reach the North Pole. If I continued traveling in the same direction, straight ahead, I would be traveling south. Even though I had not changed direction, I would be traveling north with one step and south with the next.

Would going backward in time work the same way? I can keep going back and back and back until I reached the "temporal north pole," aka, the Big Bang, and if I continued in the same direction, I would suddenly find myself moving forward in time. The reason we cannot fathom "before the Big Bang" is that there literally IS no "before the Big Bang," just as there is no "one step further north" than the North Pole.

Thoughts?

Someone correct me if I'm wrong...but all the natural laws (like the thermodynamic laws) didn't apply before the big bang..How could they ?

The idea of traveling north before the big bang means there is no north.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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14-01-2014, 01:22 PM
RE: Before the Big Bang
(14-01-2014 10:19 AM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  As a (relatively) new atheist, I still find myself struggling with the concept of the "first cause" argument. Recently, I have read some books that have helped me develop some understanding of the issue (especially helpful were Stephen Hawking's Brief History of Time as well as Atheist Universe -- I forget the author's name). I'm no expert on the subject and I don't pretend to be.

This morning a thought occurred to me that I'm sure has occurred to other, more talented minds in the past, so I thought I'd present it here and see if I can learn something new.

Here's my thought: Time is relative. We know that. Time depends on the observer, and two observers with two different circumstances will experience time in different ways (the twins paradox).

Now, if time is a dimension, and space-time is curved as Einstein suggests, would it follow that there is no such thing as "before" the Big Bang?

Picture it like this: If I started traveling north, I would eventually reach the North Pole. If I continued traveling in the same direction, straight ahead, I would be traveling south. Even though I had not changed direction, I would be traveling north with one step and south with the next.

Would going backward in time work the same way? I can keep going back and back and back until I reached the "temporal north pole," aka, the Big Bang, and if I continued in the same direction, I would suddenly find myself moving forward in time. The reason we cannot fathom "before the Big Bang" is that there literally IS no "before the Big Bang," just as there is no "one step further north" than the North Pole.

Thoughts?

I find a great deal of comfort and solace in the answer "I don't know." Yes

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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14-01-2014, 01:33 PM
RE: Before the Big Bang
I agree with Chas here.

But your analogies are flawed in that you seem to be forgetting that it's all relative. It's as if you are using geographical location and direction for something that's not tangible. Like the Matrix says, "There is no spoon," except in your case, "There is no North."

But I like that you're thinking critically. Smile

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14-01-2014, 03:18 PM
RE: Before the Big Bang
You're kind of missing my point: of course there is no north at the Big Bang. That was just an analogy.

What I'm saying is, if you go back in time to the Big Bang, and then kept going "back," you couldn't. Just as you cannot go any further north than the North Pole.

Okay, not an analogy: a simile.

Point is, people talk about what "caused" the Big Bang, and it's a false question, because "cause" implies a catalyst that precedes the reaction in time. But there was no earlier time. There are only later times, period. If you kept going back, you would find yourself going forward.
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14-01-2014, 03:37 PM
RE: Before the Big Bang
I get what you are saying in your analogy, but I'm not sure if you start going in the other direction (south/forward in time) or if you just hit a wall because there isn't any time/space once you arrive at the beginning to drive into. Consider


I get what you are saying, but its hard to express. Smile


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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14-01-2014, 03:39 PM
RE: Before the Big Bang
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14-01-2014, 03:42 PM
RE: Before the Big Bang
If there's a wall, then a reasonable question is, what's on the other side of the wall?

I know you're not being literal, but...

I don't know. All of this just blows me away. God must have done it.
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14-01-2014, 03:45 PM
RE: Before the Big Bang
No, I got your point, but you missed mine. Wink

Spacetime is only curved by matter, the universe is not definitively curved, it's infinite and thus likely flat. Directional travel in spacetime wouldn't circle back around then.

But I do have a question: When you say "go back in time" are you referring to looking back through a telescope as far as we can to see galaxies that are billions of years old, or are you talking hypothetically, like if we have a time machine? Either way I don't see your hypothesis as being plausible, but just curious.

With all that being said, I still like, "I don't know," as an answer.

Check out my atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
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