General Question

mirasole's avatar

What happened before the Big Bang?

Asked by mirasole (13points) July 19th, 2021
29 responses
“Great Question” (4points)

if space and time are one, why can’t we go back in time? we can reverse direction in space after all.

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Ticce's avatar

Nobody among human beings knows about it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Time happened before the big bang.

zenvelo's avatar

^^^^ Time didn’t happen before the big bang.

Before the big bang was zip, nada, nothing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well what launches time?

Zaku's avatar

@Ticce Some humans do say they know something about a version of it. They say that time and perceived physical reality are illusions, and you (that is, your conscious present attention) can and does go back, over and over. And/or that reality is a projection of something else.

As far as conventional physical notions, what would it mean to “go back in time”? Would you “rewind” everything that happened in the universe? How would you even begin to accomplish that from a physical technological standpoint?

If you mean relativistically, we can reverse direction only by applying kinetic energy on other objects, and while this may from certain points of reference seem to affect time, in no case does it involve moving backwards in time.

What would be implied for cause and effect if it were possible? As soon as you allow the possibility, all notions of causality are out the window, unless perhaps it is a matter of either rewinding everything, or only moving attention/awareness/consciousness, or if there are infinite multiverses, or new timeline threads that get created by reverse “time travel”.

Ltryptophan's avatar

It’s not an exhaustive question. Unless, the correct answer is so definitive that it resolves any follow up questions. For even if we know what came prior, it begs the question “… and before that? Ad infinitum, until we arrive at the uncaused necessary first cause of being.

The real question considered, I think, is why should anything be at all, rather than not be.

Luckily for the discussion, we can be certain that being IS, or at very least WAS. So it’s safe to assume that true nothingness never was, and therefore regardless of the current configuration of what IS, it seems it must have always always been in existence without first cause. Agreeably this is a profound mystery for us that probably stems from some perspective issue in causality.

If we could see reality without consciousness of causality perhaps the ‘moment’ of being would not be so mysterious for lacking a cause.

The boogeyman is then the instinctual emotional need to comprehend a causeless reality.

TJFKAJ's avatar

Coming up with an answer is sort of a party game. Truth is, nobody can know.
Also, time did not exist until there was something there to measure.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Measure by whom or what @TJFKAJ?

kritiper's avatar

IMO, everything that is within the Great Void, and the Great Void itself, existed before the latest “Big Bang.” Since time is as endless as the Great Void, countless “Big Bangs may have occurred.

kritiper's avatar

Only Man can conceive the concept of time.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Does this mean time didn’t exist until we reach our current incarnation?

Zaku's avatar

@kritiper If “Only Man can conceive the concept of time”, how did my cats learn when to expect their automatic feeders to give them their next meals?

smudges's avatar

@TJFKAJ Also, time did not exist until there was something there to measure.

That sounds kinda like the tree in the woods. According to some people, a falling tree doesn’t make a noise unless someone is there to hear it.

TJFKAJ's avatar

@smudges @Dutchess_III
I think that’s the point.
Until there was the Big Bang, there was nothing that we know of that anybody could call time.
So @smudges is just repeating the original question.
Not sure what @Dutchess_III is asking, but I’m not worried about it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Someone said there is no time unless there is a way to measure it. That would be us humans doing the measuring.
So did time not exist until humans appeared on the scene?

smudges's avatar

@TJFKAJ Actually, I was thinking how egocentric are the people who believe a falling tree doesn’t make a noise unless someone is there to hear it. Scientists have decided that the Big Bang is the be all and end all, and so it Must Be.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Scientists just say it happened and the evidence backs them up. They never said it’s the be all and end all. That’s the kind of thing religions say.

kritiper's avatar

@Zaku Ask your cats at what time do the automatic feeders do their thing. If they can answer, you have a point.

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III Time existed, it’s just that no one was there to witness it. But since Man can conceive of time, Man can conceive that time existed and had always existed, and will always exist. Logical, that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

—Long ago, in a galaxy far far away, at McDonald’s, I opened up a dialog about time with my then 9 and 11 year old kids. Every time they answered I’d say “But what came before that?”
They quickly got stumped until my 9 year old son brightened up and said, definitely “I know! Time began in 1987!”
I was stumped for a moment, then realized that was the year he was born!
Discussion over.

Ticce's avatar

I don’t think that we must establish a correlation between our abilities to percept things and the things as they are. I mean it’s not very convincing to think that time exists as long as we can spot, comprehend it. It’s more a question of the human abilities to learn, perceive reality. We can perceive reality differently and think that reality changes, but it’s more likely that our way of perceiving it changes.
We only know enough to understand that we know too little.

gondwanalon's avatar

Before the Big Bang there was the Big Collapse.

No such thing as time. It’s always been now and always will be now.

Zaku's avatar

Much of these ideas are examples of the idea that only symbolic language matters, but that’s a self-referential argument, and strikes me as blinded by self-obsession, or obsession with symbolic language and symbolic thoughts, to the point that they deny or are disinterested in physical existence or anything that’s not a symbolic thought.

All sorts of stuff happens in the woods and the rest of the universe, without caring whether anyone knows or thinks about it. It happens all the same. The Big Bang itself is a theory. If there was an actual event that corresponds to that theory, what happened before it is unobservable, so we don’t even know whether that question refers to anything real or not. It could be that there is and perhaps always was a larger or infinite existence outside what we can observe, even with all modern technology and inferences. Almost all of it, whatever it is or was, exists or doesn’t exist regardless of what we think or don’t think about it.

dabbler's avatar

Our human ideas about the Big Bang are based on evidence (cosmic background radiation especially) and theories and equations that work with most of what we know about the observable universe. Those theories and equations tell us basically that time, and space, do not exist before that Big Bang moment.

Yes, that’s a mind-blower, and yes, it’s a hand-wavy excuse for no better answer. But hey we do not have a better answer and none of us was around 13.5 billion years ago to tell us different.

Zaku's avatar

They don’t tell us that nothing existed before that time. They just tell us that we don’t observe any evidence of anything else.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

You might like watching the first half of this YouTube video Imagining 10 Dimensions – the Movie

flutherother's avatar

Nothing became something.

Ticce's avatar

Much of these ideas ??? Not many of these ideas?

Zaku's avatar

@Ticce I worded it that way, because I meant much but only some of the aspects of the ideas, not the entire ideas.

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