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Thread: The beginning of "time" thread (with and without nerdz)

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    The beginning of "time" thread (with and without nerdz)

    Since we kinda derailed the Stupid $#@! non Nerdz Say thread with talk about the definition of time (vs the understanding of time)... I figured I'd start a separate thread so we can continue to make fun of the non-nerdz in that thread and use this thread to talk about theories of what happened "before" the Big Bang / Singularity and what "time" means if time starts (by definition) at the beginning of the Universe.

    So, put your quarter in and press start...

    So, the question some of us less nerdy nerdz are struggling with is how there was ever a time 0 in the space time continuum...

    If you're like me, and you think of time as infinite, you probably think it is infinite in both directions, but physics says time started when the universe started, so it's only 'infinite' in the direction of the future (and, i suppose, if the universe ended, time would end and no longer be infinite.)

    so, let's hash it out...

    "BEFORE" the Universe there was...

    God
    Other stuff
    Etc.


    Go.

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    I offer no value to this discussion but I am interested in the theories

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snacks View Post
    If you're like me, and you think of time as infinite, you probably think it is infinite in both directions, but physics says time started when the universe started, so it's only 'infinite' in the direction of the future (and, i suppose, if the universe ended, time would end and no longer be infinite.)
    The classic analogy which explains what is meant by "space-time" is the comparison of space and time to electricity and magnetism (flip the axes and suddenly you are looking at the one when previously you were looking at the other).

    If you think about it entirely in the abstract (as you are wont to do), then yes, you'd think you could go to a negative number on the "space-time" grid. However, think about it as some form of "stuff" and you can appreciate the possibility of "zero" in space-time, just like you can have "zero" electricity.

    Conceptualizing what that really means in terms of "before 'before' meant anything" is still a problem, but it's a problem of conceptualization, not math.

  • #4
    time didn't exist before the big bang so the answer is null. like dividing by zero.


    that's not to say there wasn't a previous universe that collapsed on itself creating whatever it was (and maybe there's some echo of that previous universe in the CMB). but while "all that was" was the singularity, there were no physical laws that either us in this universe or anyone in the previous universe would have recognized as space-time.
    Last edited by elfenix; 12-14-2016 at 03:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Achilles' Heel View Post
    The classic analogy which explains what is meant by "space-time" is the comparison of space and time to electricity and magnetism (flip the axes and suddenly you are looking at the one when previously you were looking at the other).
    .
    .
    .
    Conceptualizing what that really means in terms of "before 'before' meant anything" is still a problem, but it's a problem of conceptualization, not math.
    Actually, that's helpful.


    If you think about the singularity as a "pixel" (easy enough to do, since that's the only way to show it in graphic form), you can then think about alternate realities (and no reality could possibly be more alternate than the reality that preceded the current one) as a point of view where that pixel is suddenly represented as a full dimension. What the hell that looks like, I have no idea, because I'm only a nerd-sympathizer.

  • #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Achilles' Heel View Post
    Conceptualizing what that really means in terms of "before 'before' meant anything" is still a problem, but it's a problem of conceptualization, not math.
    Well, uh, yeah. That's the basic problem. I get the dry answer, but my mind is unable to really "get" the idea that you can't always go back in time. It seems just like numbers - it by definition can't have a beginning or end. I know that's not true in a way that I could answer it on a test, but my mind can't accept it.

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    If you think about time as another dimension in the space-time continuum (the fourth axis in an x,y,z coordinate system), then why not have zero time at the singularity since the other 3 dimensions would also have zero value.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fightin' Buck View Post
    If you think about time as another dimension in the space-time continuum (the fourth axis in an x,y,z coordinate system), then why not have zero time at the singularity since the other 3 dimensions would also have zero value.
    My question, though, is... since I can't wrap my mind around what that fourth axis really represents, how do I know it has to be zero? Isn't it possible that even though on this side of the Big Bang time is only infinite going forward, on the other side of it, it might go in both directions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor and Poker View Post
    Well, uh, yeah. That's the basic problem. I get the dry answer, but my mind is unable to really "get" the idea that you can't always go back in time. It seems just like numbers - it by definition can't have a beginning or end. I know that's not true in a way that I could answer it on a test, but my mind can't accept it.
    How's this for a big picture example. Think of a body of water. The ocean, a lake, pond, river, whatever. Can you have a negative depth value? No. When it's dry, it's 0. It rains and suddenly the body of water begins to grow from the first drop. The depth didn't exist before the first drop, but then it did.

    Depth uses numbers to reference a measurement, as does time. But that does not make time itself numerical and thus infinite in either the positive or negative directions from zero.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderlounge View Post
    How's this for a big picture example. Think of a body of water. The ocean, a lake, pond, river, whatever. Can you have a negative depth value? No. When it's dry, it's 0. It rains and suddenly the body of water begins to grow from the first drop. The depth didn't exist before the first drop, but then it did.

    Depth uses numbers to reference a measurement, as does time. But that does not make time itself numerical and thus infinite in either the positive or negative directions from zero.


    Must spread rep. That's the best explanation I've ever heard.

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    Whose to say this isn't just one in a
    Never ending series if bang moments. Meaning time is infinite in both directions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderlounge View Post
    How's this for a big picture example. Think of a body of water. The ocean, a lake, pond, river, whatever. Can you have a negative depth value? No. When it's dry, it's 0. It rains and suddenly the body of water begins to grow from the first drop. The depth didn't exist before the first drop, but then it did.

    Depth uses numbers to reference a measurement, as does time. But that does not make time itself numerical and thus infinite in either the positive or negative directions from zero.

    I do like that example, but the parts I have trouble dealing with, to use your example, 1) why did it start raining? 2) where did the rain come from?

  • #13
    I think we just have a framework issue. It's like medieval times when they just had a framework of down, and wondered what the Earth was resting on. And then what was that resting on...., etc. etc. (Of course, we know, it was turtles all the way down). We are just missing the big picture somehow. Our future brethren will laugh at us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ut_ob1 View Post
    I do like that example, but the parts I have trouble dealing with, to use your example, 1) why did it start raining? 2) where did the rain come from?
    Both are very good questions. Science today has no answers for either, only theories. The rain would be representative of the matter exploding in the big bang, and where it came from would be representative of outside of our universe. And nobody knows how, where, or why. Similar to a positrac rear end on a plymouth, it just does. For now at least.

    One prevailing theory is the multiverse. In a nutshell it explains our universe a one bubble amongst many other bubbles. Of course we can't perceive those bubbles and don't know how many would exist. This falls in the same ballpark as alternate universes or what some people consider (incorrectly) as parallel dimensions.

    The alternate universe discussion leads to an infinite number of universes which are slightly different than our own. In one the color blue could be green, and the color green could be blue, and nothing else is different other than what would be affected by that difference. For example, the cowboys would still be blue and silver, but it would look like green and silver. The sky would be blue, but look green. Green tree would look blue. Blue smurf would look green. In that theory there would also be a universe where WWII never happened, or one where Newton was never born. That's some crazy $#@! right there if you really think about the gravity of it all. There would be a universe where we've blown each other up and don't exists, one where Saban was hired instead of Strong, and one where Kennedy wasn't shot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderlounge View Post
    How's this for a big picture example. Think of a body of water. The ocean, a lake, pond, river, whatever. Can you have a negative depth value? No. When it's dry, it's 0. It rains and suddenly the body of water begins to grow from the first drop. The depth didn't exist before the first drop, but then it did.

    Depth uses numbers to reference a measurement, as does time. But that does not make time itself numerical and thus infinite in either the positive or negative directions from zero.

    This analogy could be applied to our own existence. Then I think, would time exist without my existence, or did it begin when I became self aware? Are all you $#@!ing $#@!s just a really $#@!ty simulation, and I'm just a brain in a jar of electrolytic goo?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MissingInAction View Post
    This analogy could be applied to our own existence. Then I think, would time exist without my existence, or did it begin when I became self aware? Are all you $#@!ing $#@!s just a really $#@!ty simulation, and I'm just a brain in a jar of electrolytic goo?
    Solipsism as a popular theme in literature died out shortly after Matthew Arnold. Pray let it stay that way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderlounge View Post
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    every day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ut_ob1 View Post
    I do like that example, but the parts I have trouble dealing with, to use your example, 1) why did it start raining? 2) where did the rain come from?
    Quote Originally Posted by thunderlounge View Post
    Both are very good questions. Science today has no answers for either, only theories.
    Science can go back, or regress, only so far, and thatís when science tends to cross over into the metaphysical. Most of the so-called theories that try to explain anything beyond our knowledge donít meet the standard definition of scientific theories; they are conjectures, at best.

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    Fundamentally, what's different about the time dimension versus the spatial dimensions?

    Sure, we perceive the time dimension to be incessantly progressing forward at a constant rate, and we're locked in to that. Is it possible to break free of that perception?

    Can I "walk" out of a perfectly enclosed room? A room that exists now, but has not always existed, and won't always exist?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor and Poker View Post
    It seems just like numbers - it by definition can't have a beginning or end. I know that's not true in a way that I could answer it on a test, but my mind can't accept it.
    Ah, but "numbers" do have an end. Granted, this is just a Set theoretic description, but lots of number sets have a beginning or end, by definition. For example, Natural Numbers are defined as any positive integer ( there's a debate over whether zero is a natural number ). But by definition, -1 is not a Natural Number. If you wanted to expand your set of Numbers, the next would be Rational Numbers" - all integers, positive and negative, and any number than can be expressed by a ratio of integers ( with a non-zero denominator ).

    Philosophically, additional context is required once one transfers from natural to "rational" numbers. As another example, let's say you look at my bank account and see -$10.00. Now, you can physically hold $10.00 in your hand. But you cannot physically hold -$10.00 in your hand. Rather, you understand that the -$10.00 represents the fact that I owe the bank $10.00.

    The simple fact is that right now in human history, we don't have enough context to accurately describe what -1 year would mean. There is of course a real chance that -1 year is in fact completely absurd and will forever remain undefined, like asking what is north of the north pole ( that's Hawking's preferred description of describing what is before the Big Bang ). It could be a previous universe collapsing in on itself. My personal view is an ex nihilator doing whatever the hell God was up to prior to Creation.

    Struggling with "Timestamp Zero" is an issue mankind has debated for thousands of years ( and I suspect thousands more ). The philosophical genesis of the "an ex nihilator was before / nothing was before" debate for our current cultural understanding of it ( the exhausting and trite "Science vs Religion" ) came from Blaise Pascal correcting ( or attempting to correct ) Descartes in the 17th Century. In the course of finding his "First Philosophy", Descartes more or less banished God from the Universe. Though a devout Catholic, Descartes' only use for God was to say "He started the Universe". As Pascal rightly saw, such a view would lead to a Philosophy where any Prime Mover could be used to replace God, or state simply that there was no Prime Mover.

  • #22
    These last two are reflections of my best (admittedly very limited) understanding based off watching "Nova" and similar programs.

    Quote Originally Posted by cactus View Post
    Science can go back, or regress, only so far, and thatís when science tends to cross over into the metaphysical. Most of the so-called theories that try to explain anything beyond our knowledge donít meet the standard definition of scientific theories; they are conjectures, at best.
    Correct. That which can be observed and replicated comprises the foundation of scientific "law". Until that occurs, an idea remains in the realm of "theory". With super-strong telescopes and other instruments measuring background radiation and whatnot, we can see very far back in "time" at the early universe, but we will never be able to see before the observable (the Big Bang).

    Quote Originally Posted by Grammer Police View Post
    Fundamentally, what's different about the time dimension versus the spatial dimensions?

    Sure, we perceive the time dimension to be incessantly progressing forward at a constant rate, and we're locked in to that. Is it possible to break free of that perception?

    Can I "walk" out of a perfectly enclosed room? A room that exists now, but has not always existed, and won't always exist?
    I've also watched tee-vee shows that speak to this perception issue.

    Getting back to the notion of the multiverse and how each universe follows its own rules... Once a specific bubble (universe) in the great beer froth bursts, everything in that particular "reality" MUST follow its specific laws. Fortunately, our little/great/whatever universe follows a strict set of rules which allows/requires our existence. In other words, we exist because our universe permits/necessitates our existence. Since everything in THIS universe follows a certain set of principles/rules, then everything is pre-ordered like a maths problem. This is to say, our existence was inevitable given what our universe requires.

    Understanding the assumption/knowledge/ciphering that we are only part of a larger mathematical equation, we were inevitably predestined as an x, y or z in the formula. Time, itself, is only a matter of working your way through a individual pre-existing calculus problem. Time is the process through which we PERCEIVE travelling through an equation. But that equation already existed and working through it is only an illusion.

    The linear fashion in which we work through the equation is a deception. It exists in perpetuity. It is, was, and will be. "Time" is simply the progression of working through it, but it all exists simultaneously.
    Last edited by Bolverk; 12-15-2016 at 02:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cactus View Post
    Science can go back, or regress, only so far, and that’s when science tends to cross over into the metaphysical. Most of the so-called theories that try to explain anything beyond our knowledge don’t meet the standard definition of scientific theories; they are conjectures, at best.
    that "so far" is currently the start of the rapid expansion. The Big Bang Theory is a scientific theory-- it is supported by evidence and explains much of what we know currently about the universe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grammer Police View Post
    Fundamentally, what's different about the time dimension versus the spatial dimensions?
    exactly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grammer Police View Post
    Fundamentally, what's different about the time dimension versus the spatial dimensions?

    Sure, we perceive the time dimension to be incessantly progressing forward at a constant rate, and we're locked in to that. Is it possible to break free of that perception?

    Can I "walk" out of a perfectly enclosed room? A room that exists now, but has not always existed, and won't always exist?
    No, but you can come to know how that room came to be... in fact, you know the room came to be by virtue of someone or something constructing a room. it did not just room.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fightin' Buck View Post
    The Big Bang Theory is a scientific theory-- it is supported by evidence and explains much of what we know currently about the universe.
    I didnít claim otherwise. But when science tries to get to the root cause of the big bang it delves into the metaphysical with conjectures (not scientific theories) such as: ekproytic universe (the big bang was caused by two hyper-dimensional objects colliding); loop quantum cosmology (gravity becomes repulsive at short distances so before the big bang there was a collapsing universe); eternal inflation (the big bang is the origin of our pocket universe, but not the beginning of the whole universe), and so forth.

  • #27
    Quote Originally Posted by thunderlounge View Post
    Both are very good questions. Science today has no answers for either, only theories hypotheses. The rain would be representative of the matter exploding in the big bang, and where it came from would be representative of outside of our universe. And nobody knows how, where, or why. Similar to a positrac rear end on a plymouth, it just does. For now at least.

    One prevailing theory is the multiverse. In a nutshell it explains our universe a one bubble amongst many other bubbles. Of course we can't perceive those bubbles and don't know how many would exist. This falls in the same ballpark as alternate universes or what some people consider (incorrectly) as parallel dimensions.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20141...y-dot-the-sky/

    https://www.inverse.com/article/7403...king-into-ours

  • #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grammer Police View Post
    Fundamentally, what's different about the time dimension versus the spatial dimensions?

    Sure, we perceive the time dimension to be incessantly progressing forward at a constant rate, and we're locked in to that. Is it possible to break free of that perception?

    Can I "walk" out of a perfectly enclosed room? A room that exists now, but has not always existed, and won't always exist?
    Is there a cat in there, and if so is he dead or alive ?

  • #29
    Our physical universe operates according to a set of rules. In this post Iíll refer to any logically consistent set of rules as a game. Since whatever we do is within the rules of our universe, it is difficult for us to think about what happens outside these rules. However, it is easy for us to think about what happens outside of games we construct. In the other thread I gave the example of Super Mario Brothers as a game we can view from outside the rules. Here I will use the game of chess. Chess has two space dimensions, each of which has 8 discrete values, and in a sense it has a time dimension, which is the progression of moves made in a game. After 8 moves by each side, a game may be in this state:



    In the common chess notation, the two space dimensions are given by the letters a-h for the columns and rows 1-8. These are the spacial bounds of the game. But in our minds we can easily imagine extending the board and adding additional squares. But just because we can imagine it doesn't mean it exists with the rules of chess. So what happens if we want to move a knight to square i9? Itís not as if there is some concrete wall stopping the knight; we could pick up the knight and move it off the board where we picture the i9 square to be. But no such square exists according to the rules of chess and so we really canít move it to i9. If we do, we are stepping outside the rules of chess. Imagine a being in a universe with four spacial dimensions looking at us in our 3d spacial universe. Viewing our world from his perspective, he may be tempted to ask ďwhy canít they travel in the fourth spacial dimension? Whatís stopping them?Ē Whatís stopping us is that a fourth spacial dimension simply doesnít exist in our universe game. We canít travel to a place that doesnít exist in our game, just like a knight canít move to square i9. The knight would probably have a hard time even fathoming such a square, just like we cannot picture in our mind 4 spacial dimensions.

    Applying this reasoning to the timeline or progression of moves in chess, consider the possible states prior to the initial setup:



    So what is the state of the board prior to the initial starting position? What state came before the initial state in the game? Anyone who understands the rules of chess knows that there is no state of the game prior to the initial starting position. And so it is with our universe. There is no state of our universe before the big bang.

    The point of the above discussion on the role of dimensions and bounds for various games is to demonstrate that the timeline of our universe is not the same thing as the chain of all causation, but rather it is the dimension associated with the progression of physical events within our universe. So when we talk about the possible explanations and origin of our universe, we cannot reference our universeís timeline. Furthermore, even if the timeline of our universe extended infinitely in both directions and there was not an initial state or starting point in time, the universe would still need a sufficient reason or cause for existing. The ancient Greeks, including Aristotle and Plato, believed that the universe had no beginning point in time. Yet they still believed in the necessity of the unmoved mover. Starting with the physics of Aristotle, Aquinas also began with the assumption that the universe was infinite in time, yet he still developed arguments for the necessity of the Prime Mover. "Motion" in these arguments does not mean physical movement, but moving something from a possibility to an actuality. As Aquinas stated ďFor motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality

    At this point you may agree that even though there is no state of chess prior to the initial position and no state of our universe before the big bang, this still doesnít address how the game of chess was developed and it doesnít explain how our universe came to be. And that is true Ė these analogies do not address primary causes at all. We still expect things to have a reason for existing. Leibniz refers to this as the principle of sufficient reason (PSR). This basic concept was around long before Leibniz and has been repeated in various forms by numerous others. David Hume wrote ď..I never asserted so absurd a Proposition as that anything might arise without a cause." Laplace later affirmed the PSR in his famous work A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities (page 3). Simply put, we expect things to have causes; we seek explanations for why things are the way they are. The PSR is an innate human belief and we observe its truth every day. As soon as kids can talk they start asking "why?" So why does the universe exist and what caused it? Why is there something rather than nothing?

    Discussion of the potential causes of our physical world requires the use of modal logic, which is logic that distinguishes between what is necessarily true and what is possible. We also have to distinguish between a few categories of existence and truth:

    A possibility or possible truth is anything that is logically consistent, i.e. anything which does not entail a logical contradiction. All things that are true are in the category of possible truths. If something is true, then it is possible for it to be true; if something exists or some event occurs, then it is possible for it to exist/occur. The category of possible truths can be viewed as the realm of the potential. However, merely being possible does not mean that something actually exists; it just means that it has the potential to exist or to be true. For example, there is no logical contradiction in a horse having a horn on its head. It is a logical possibility. Maybe on some planet out there or in some other universe there are unicorns roaming about. But on earth, it happens to be the case that there are no unicorns. So unicorns could possibly exist, but they do not actually exist on the earth.

    A necessary truth is something that has to be true. They are true as a logical necessity. For example, the number 7 is a prime number. This is a necessarily true fact. The negations of necessarily truths are not logically possible, which is why they must be true. Leibniz refers to this as the principle of contradiction (PC), which he clarifies in his Monadology in paragraphs 31 & 33 . For example, the number 7 is necessarily prime because 7 not being prime contains a contradiction. Therefore, 7 must be prime and it is prime in every possible set of rules.

    A contingent truth is something that is true, but it does not logically have to be true. Its truth is contingent upon something else; something else caused it to be true. For example, I drive a black car. This is a true statement. However, it does not have to be true; it just happens to be true. This truth is dependent upon a choice I made. I used to drive a truck and then I drove a white car. One day I will no longer drive a black car.

    So with that preamble in place, here is a basic outline of the commonly considered general categories of explanations & causes of our universe. What all of the views in these categories have in common is that they seek to establish what is the most fundamental level of existence i.e. what is the ontological bedrock upon which all things derive their existence, or they seek to establish what is the most fundamental level of knowledge i.e. what is the epistemological bedrock which all knowledge is built upon:

    (A) The Multiverse
    There are several variations of the multiverse view, but the relevant philosophical idea for this discussion is that from a multiverse view our universe is one world which is a product of a more fundamental system. Each universe is like a separate room within the multiverse. An advantage of the multiverse is that even though we can't test is directly, we can extrapolate the observable rules of our universe into the multiverse and develop mathematical theories based on these extrapolations. So while not directly testable, we are able to develop mathematical rules on how the multiverse may be structured based on the extrapolation of the rules of our universe, which it contains.

    Regarding causation, even though our universe is contingent, the multiverse may be eternal and uncaused (i.e. it may exist necessarily). According to this view, the ontological foundation, the source of all existence, is the multiverse. If our universe is a game, then the multiverse is the game of games. The sufficient reason for the existence of our universe is that it is the product of the multiverse, which is the fountain of all actually existing realities.

    It's important to note the a person can be a deist and still believe in the multiverse. A deist who believes in the multiverse would reject the idea that the multiverse is uncreated and the fundamental level of existence. But someone could believe without contradiction that God created the multiverse and our universe is a product of this multiverse. For the sake of this discussion, that person would fall into the deist category and not this one.

    (B) Radical Scientism
    Scientism is a term that covers a range perspectives, so Iíve added the ďradicalĒ to specify the objection to the question on the cause of our universe on the basis of epistemological limitations due to the lack of empirically falsifiable ideas. Those who adhere to this view claim that there is no point even asking what caused the universe because there is no way to physically test any answer we come up with. Having no way to verify or falsify theories on this question effectively means that it is unanswerable.

    The ontological bedrock according to this view is simply our physical universe. Even if there is anything more fundamental, we currently do not have the methods to analyze it. More importantly, the sole epistemological foundation of all knowledge is the scientific method. Since anything outside our universe either doesnít exist or canít be known to exist, any attempt to answer the question cannot be verified by the scientific method and is ungrounded and thus speculative. Generally speaking, the adherents of this view do not give a $#@! about the PSR or any philosophical explanation for how or why the universe came to be. They don't care if the universe exists necessarily or not. We know that it does exist and we have the scientific method to study it. That is enough.

    This view and the multiverse view are compatible with materialism/physicalism. There is no shortage of scientists who are materialists. One example is Sean Carroll, who has on the header of his blog ďin truth, only atoms and the void.Ē However, materialism and scientism should not be conflated with or considered interchangeable with science or the scientific method. They are certainly compatible with science, but scientism and materialism are philosophical viewpoints.

    (C) Deism
    There are also numerous variations within this category. Regarding the existence of our universe, the theistic and deistic views are similar. The primary difference between the two is in how & if God interacts with the world beyond creation. However, the essential principle of this category is that there is a Deity which has the power to select worlds from the realm of the potential and move them into the realm of the actual. From the deistic perspective, the answers to the famous questions of Stephen Hawking are simple:
    "Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?"

    What breathes fire into the equations is God. The reason that the universe exists is because God created it. A commonly asked question in return is that if God created the universe, then who created God? An interesting point here is that the same thing could be asked of the multiverse view - if the multiverse produced the universe, then what produced the multiverse? Deistic and theistic scholars have long been aware of this objection. The common response to the question is that God exists necessarily; in other words, it is impossible for God not to exist. The arguments given to support this view are known as "ontological arguments.Ē Now you may not accept the ontological arguments, but an important point is that no serious theistic scholar claims that God exists for no reason; they argue that God does have a reason to exist, and that reason is that God exists necessarily.

    (D) Modal Realism
    This view says that every possible reality & occurrence actually does exist in some world. In other words, every possible world is realized. According to this view, there is no entity involved and no choice involved in moving a potential world into the realm of the actual. If you can imagine some scenario that doesnít contain an inconsistency, it actually does exist in some world. The sufficient reason for the existence of our universe is that it is logically possible and therefore it must exist. A nice feature about modal realism is its simplicity: it relies on one simple but powerful axiom Ė all that is possible is actual. Of course the problem is that this axiom doesnít have any evidence of being true, and there is no sufficient reason it must be true. As far as I am aware, this view has few adherents.


    So, which category do you fall in and why?

  • #30
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    Since space contains vacuum fluctuations in accordance Planck's theory, and that zero point energy has energy, wavelength and frequency, with frequency being a measure of time, then all space has time.

    There is no such thing as space that is not space as all space has vacuum fluctuations. The non-space space invented to make the big bang model viable is nothing but science fiction as it is not and cannot be physically real.

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    1981

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    The original duck face?

  • #33
    asshat Liquor and Poker might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Liquor and Poker might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Liquor and Poker might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Liquor and Poker might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Liquor and Poker might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Liquor and Poker might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Liquor and Poker might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Liquor and Poker might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Liquor and Poker might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Liquor and Poker might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Liquor and Poker might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Liquor and Poker's Avatar
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    I think a lot of the "explanations" in this thread are ignoring the basic problem, at least the basic problem for me. I can understand the ocean idea, the "it's another dimension" idea, the multiverse idea, etc. on an intellectual level. But my brain can't get it on a perceptive, basic understanding level.

    It's like the difference between hearing the measurements of a thing and seeing the actual thing. How many of you heard the dimensions of something and then went and got a ruler and drew it? I did this to figure out how big the new bigger iPhone and Note were - to see if they fit in my pocket. I had heard the dimensions and their comparisons to the old ones. Not useful to my brain. So I went and drew an outline around my old Iphone and then got a ruler and drew the bigger dimensions. That made it much clearer.

  • #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axiom of Choice View Post
    Imagine a being in a universe with four spacial dimensions looking at us in our 3d spacial universe. Viewing our world from his perspective, he may be tempted to ask “why can’t they travel in the fourth spacial dimension? What’s stopping them?” What’s stopping us is that a fourth spacial dimension simply doesn’t exist in our universe game.
    That's certainly a possibility, but not an absolute truth. Right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Axiom of Choice View Post
    So with that preamble in place, here is a basic outline of the commonly considered general categories of explanations & causes of our universe.

    So, which category do you fall in and why?
    I'll say a mix of all of them except maybe radical scientism.

    We're in a simulation. Our reality is a persistent illusion.

    There are other simulations. Some very similar, some very different. Some short lived, some long lived. Some containing consciousness, others not.

    There may be an IT admin controlling our simulation. He/she/it might decide to modify a universal parameter from time to time.

  • #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ut_ob1 View Post
    I do like that example, but the parts I have trouble dealing with, to use your example, 1) why did it start raining? 2) where did the rain come from?
    The energy for the matter comes from zero point energy, since mass is simply displaced zero point energy. That part is easy. The amount of total energy in space is constant and unchanging over time. No energy has ever been created or destroyed.

    We do not know how a net amount of matter versus antimatter is produced. We do know that it is produced, which is a start. We can also recognize that matter is produced within stars such as our sun, as the sun will increase its volume more than a thousand times and it is physically impossible for that to occur without mass/matter being added.

    That means that there is a process whereby matter is produced within plasma. Early experimeters notably Clarence Skinner and J J Thompson reported such findings, but they are widely ignored. I hope to reproduce their experiments some day.

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    As for Axiom's question I do not get why science is radical and being non-scientific or believing in science fiction is not radical.

    Mutiverses and "modal realism" stem from the denial of vacuum energy. The alternate realities do not exist, because the real result is due to real physical interactions. It is simply that a lot of those interactions are with vacuum fluctuations. Vacuum fluctuation interactions still preclude the alternative results from being realized.

    To take a step back consider that wave-particle duality is a lie dreamt up by vacuum energy deniers. In the real world the waves are a property of the vacuum energy, the aether. Waves are not a property of particles. The probabilities of wave functions are physically limited by the presence of individual vacuum fluctuations. Alternative realities do not exist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MissingInAction View Post
    The original duck face?
    Duck face singularly

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beef Supreme View Post
    Duck face singularly
    My man Morris !!

  • #39
    Quote Originally Posted by RayDog View Post
    displaced zero point energy.
    Please define this term. I've never heard it.

    Quote Originally Posted by RayDog View Post
    No energy has ever been created or destroyed.
    Quote Originally Posted by RayDog View Post
    We do not know how a net amount of matter versus antimatter is produced. We do know that it is produced, which is a start. We can also recognize that matter is produced within stars such as our sun, as the sun will increase its volume more than a thousand times and it is physically impossible for that to occur without mass/matter being added.
    I thought the expansion of the sun was due to its existing matter changing to a less dense form -- not that it added matter. Isn't matter just a different kind of energy?

    Quote Originally Posted by RayDog View Post
    Mutiverses and "modal realism" stem from the denial of vacuum energy. The alternate realities do not exist, because the real result is due to real physical interactions. It is simply that a lot of those interactions are with vacuum fluctuations. Vacuum fluctuation interactions still preclude the alternative results from being realized.
    I'm not trying to be a $#@!. So if you interpret my comments as such, I sincerely apologize.

    Put simply, what the $#@! is vacuum energy?

  • #40
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    In 1900 Max Planck recognized that systems do not acheive zero energy. They always have residual energy which is usually stated in terms of Planck's constant, which he derived. Lorentz and others recognized that this theory may apply to empty space and would describe aether. These are vacuum fluctuations. Heisenberg later recognized that at Planck's energy one could not measure two different properties such as position and momentum at the same time. So Planck vacuum fluctuations are difficult to detect directly. We have to rely on indirect evidence. But it turns out that everything is indirect evidence of vacuum fluctuations.

    In 1946 Casimir realized that vacuum fluctuation behave as dipoles and cause van der Waals forces. He also realized that in a cavity such as between two parallel plates longer wavelengths bigger than the distance between the plates or destructively interferred with could not exist between the plates. Those longer wavelengths are excluded or displaced. The elimination of vacuum fluctuations causes a reduction (retardation as he stated) in the energy between the plates. This causes the plates to be pushed together and that has been experimentally verified proving the existence of a Planck type aether and Casimir's theory. The Casimir energy is equal to the displaced vacuum energy.

    Since the vacuum is filled with dipoles electric and magnetic fields are physically real. The electromagnetic forces like the Casimir force which is also an em force act on the same principle as the Casimir force, vacuum pressure differentials. The north poles of two magnets are pushed apart due to vacuum pressure. Positive and negative charges are pushed together due to vacuum pressure.

    Mass is also displaced vacuum energy.

    As for the sun astronomers are wrong when they say the sun can expand without gaining mass. The fusion process would quickly stop if new matter was not being added continually as the sun expands

  • #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor and Poker View Post
    I think a lot of the "explanations" in this thread are ignoring the basic problem, at least the basic problem for me. I can understand the ocean idea, the "it's another dimension" idea, the multiverse idea, etc. on an intellectual level. But my brain can't get it on a perceptive, basic understanding level.

    It's like the difference between hearing the measurements of a thing and seeing the actual thing. How many of you heard the dimensions of something and then went and got a ruler and drew it? I did this to figure out how big the new bigger iPhone and Note were - to see if they fit in my pocket. I had heard the dimensions and their comparisons to the old ones. Not useful to my brain. So I went and drew an outline around my old Iphone and then got a ruler and drew the bigger dimensions. That made it much clearer.
    If you cannot grasp these concepts on a direct perception, intuitive level and/or cannot picture it in your mind, then you are in good company. No one can do that. Even when leading physicists discuss & work in higher dimensions, they are not visualizing it directly; they are extending certain logical principles and working the math equations. "Evolution has ensured that our brains just aren't equipped to visualise 11 dimensions directly. However, from a purely mathematical point of view it's just as easy to think in 11 dimensions, as it is to think in three or four." - Stephen Hawking

    Thinking abstractly doesn't mean you must use some super visualization abilities to mentally construct models of events that occur outside human experience in our 4d space-time. You can think abstractly about such topics by getting familiar & comfortable with certain principles via repetition and then by extending them with mathematical methods. A good analog here would be a pilot who flys by instruments at night in a fog. He cannot see what it going on outside, but he is familiar with the information his instruments provide and can fly in the darkness based on this information. In this analogy the logical principles & mathematical methods are our instruments that guide us when we cannot directly see or visualize what occurs.


    Quote Originally Posted by Grammer Police View Post
    That's certainly a possibility, but not an absolute truth. Right?
    Correct. It is not a logical impossibility, just a physical bound in our universe according to our current understanding, i.e. it would violate the rules of general relativity.


    Quote Originally Posted by RayDog View Post
    As for Axiom's question I do not get why science is radical and being non-scientific or believing in science fiction is not radical.
    I said radical scientism, not radical science. Scientism is a philosophical viewpoint; it is not this same thing as science itself.


    Quote Originally Posted by RayDog View Post
    In 1900 Max Planck recognized that systems do not acheive zero energy.
    If you start a separate thread on your vacuum fluctuation hypotheses and related ideas, I will read and discuss them with you. I know you have put a lot of work into this subject. But discussing this topic in this thread would be a large tangent from the subject of the OP. Of course you can do whatever you want, but I think creating a raydog vacuum fluctuation meta-thread and posting your ideas and papers there would be better received and will generate more discussion than initiating side discussions in unrelated threads.


    Regarding the categories I listed above, I would like to refine what I meant with (A) and (B). Category (A) is primarily an ontological claim that existence is based on matter (or the physical world). Before modern physics showed that our universe had an initial state (a starting point in time), many were content with believing that the universe was not contingent -instead, it was an uncaused eternal system. Various versions of pantheism were forwarded during this time, which argued that the universe itself was the source of existence on therefore equivalent to a deity in some sense. Before Lemaitre developed the big bang theory, Einstein believed that the universe was infinite in time and he expressed pantheistic ideas. The idea that the universe had a starting point in time was unsettling to those who held pantheistic views and so there was some resistance to the big bang at first. In fact, the reason Einstein first put the cosmological constant into his equations was to "balance" gravity so that the universe could be static and unchanging on a large scale and thus stretch back infinitely in time. But once the universe was conclusively demonstrated to have a beginning point in time the attempts to save our universe from its finite fate were mostly abandoned. If you prefer to believe in an eternal physical system as the source of all existence, then the multiverse hypotheses are preferred nowadays. The thought is that even though our observable universe is finite in time, it could the part of an infinite, eternal system that we cannot observe. However, some also reject the multiverse and still claim that our universe is the sole source of existence. The problem with this view is that our observable universe has all the markings of a contingent entity; also, if our universe is all there is, then the fine tuning argument is very hard to explain. So within the category of viewpoints which claim that the physical world is ontological bedrock, the multiverse views are more common and I think make for much better arguments overall.

    Category (B) is primarily an epistemological view and this is what distinguishes it from (A). Folks who fall in this category may also believe that the physical world is the source of all existence, but they are primarily concerned with what can be known and the methods we use to acquire and establish knoweldge. They are agnostics when it comes to what may exist outside of our universe.
    Last edited by Axiom of Choice; 12-19-2016 at 12:54 PM.

  • #42
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    Most of us spent a wretched amount of time wrestling with our singularity until we finally found someone willing to engage in the big bang with us.

    That's my hypothesis.

    It was rigorously tested.

  • #43
    asshat Grammer Police might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Grammer Police might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Grammer Police might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Grammer Police might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Grammer Police might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Grammer Police might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Grammer Police might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Grammer Police might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Grammer Police might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Grammer Police might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Grammer Police might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Grammer Police's Avatar
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    I think creating a raydog vacuum fluctuation meta-thread and posting your ideas and papers there would be better received and will generate more discussion
    +1.0

    Get it started, Ray.

  • #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axiom of Choice View Post
    I said radical scientism, not radical science. Scientism is a philosophical viewpoint; it is not this same thing as science itself.

    If you start a separate thread on your vacuum fluctuation hypotheses and related ideas, I will read and discuss them with you. I know you have put a lot of work into this subject. But discussing this topic in this thread would be a large tangent from the subject of the OP.
    The issue is not the difference between science and scientism, (which I hope everyone here understands) but science and science fiction. Most of what other people including yourself have posted on this thread is about science fiction. A philosophy based on science fiction is nonsense.

    The existence of vacuum fluctuations/zero-point energy/aether is critical to the point of this thread. Planckian vacuum fluctuations have both wavelengths and frequency, in other words distance and time. Therefore all of space has distance and time by default Aether also has a rest frame and the rest frame is geometrically flat with respect to both distance and time.

    The existence of aether alone invalidates the big bang model, so it is nonsensical to discuss time in a big bang model context.

    Based on the physical evidence space exists everywhere we look. There is no scientific evidence to support the idea of space without space, without vacuum fluctuations, and without distance and time. The cosmic background radiation shows that space is uniform for as far as we can see. The only valid conclusion to be drawn from the physical evidence is that space is infinite in distance and time.

    I am happy to start a new zero point energy thread.

  • #45
    asshat Prepuce of Doom Shaggy Gold Club Prepuce of Doom Shaggy Gold Club Prepuce of Doom Shaggy Gold Club Prepuce of Doom Shaggy Gold Club Prepuce of Doom Shaggy Gold Club Prepuce of Doom Shaggy Gold Club Prepuce of Doom Shaggy Gold Club Prepuce of Doom Shaggy Gold Club Prepuce of Doom Shaggy Gold Club Prepuce of Doom Shaggy Gold Club Prepuce of Doom Shaggy Gold Club Prepuce of Doom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMHammer View Post
    it was turtles all the way down
    Came here to say this; nothing more to add.

  • #46
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    Reading through this thread makes me realize just how precarious our existence truly is. Think I'll go fap to some Blake Liveley fake nudes to bring everything back into a perspective that makes sense.

  • #47
    asshat RayDog Shaggy Bronze Club RayDog Shaggy Bronze Club RayDog Shaggy Bronze Club RayDog Shaggy Bronze Club RayDog Shaggy Bronze Club RayDog Shaggy Bronze Club RayDog Shaggy Bronze Club RayDog Shaggy Bronze Club RayDog Shaggy Bronze Club RayDog Shaggy Bronze Club RayDog Shaggy Bronze Club
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMHammer View Post
    Of course, we know, it was turtles all the way down.
    More likely it is Dirac Fermions all he way down.

  • #48
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    I use to spend a lot of time thinking about this sort of thing until I came to the conclusion that the answer lies outside our frame of reference and it is unknowable to us.

  • #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Bolverk View Post
    Since everything in THIS universe follows a certain set of principles/rules, then everything is pre-ordered like a maths problem. This is to say, our existence was inevitable given what our universe requires.
    Just to save time, the end goal of this discussion is the concept of duality of states in quantum physics. People like Einstein posit what you explain, but current models perform better when a duality of states is assumed.

    Which is a long way of saying that the math makes sense when we assume that every physical property in the universe is a single result of an algorithm that takes into consideration every possible variable that makes up our physical reality, but the real-world tests are more accurate when we assume that true randomness can actually exist. The truth is likely that there is some sort of unknown quantity of existence that we cannot measure (yet?) that influences the seemingly random decay, but it's not a given that we could even perceive whatever is causing said phenomenon.
    Last edited by BigXII; 12-22-2016 at 07:29 PM.

  • #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolemite View Post
    I use to spend a lot of time thinking about this sort of thing until I came to the conclusion that the answer lies outside our frame of reference and it is unknowable to us.
    It is knowable. It is the science fiction masquerading as science that makes physics appear far more complicated than it is.

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