Its a question that people have grappled with for millennia: Where did the universe come from? People came up with creation myths to answer it but didn't have any concrete answers and its still the same today. While we have strong and well supported theories to explain things all the way back to 10-34 seconds after the big bang but from before moment zero to then is still a mystery.
So the question still remains but that doesn't mean there are not possible answers.
But wait, scientists say that the universe, time, space and everything began at the big bang.
Well yes and no. When scientists say that time began at the big bang they don't mean it literally. We have no information from before the big bang. All observable matter/energy, space and time as far as we can tell all originated in the big bang, we have no information about anything before it. This doesn't mean there was not a “before” to the big bang, it means all information in the observable universe started there.
What was before the big bang? While we have no way of coming up with a solid evidence backed answers we can give possible answers and I will. Before I do, you need to remember: what I am about to say is purely conjecture. It has no backing in science and is (as of yet) completely unfalsifiable. Do not take these as any more than ideas and conjecture.
Note: I will not be going into crazy idea like the matrix or the universe only looks old.
The simplest possibility is that the big bang was a phase transition from the universe in one form to to the currant universe we have now. Such a change could have happened an infinite number of times and could happen again, each time producing a random universe. What the pre-big bang universe was like; we can't know, we may not even be able to comprehend what it was like (like imagining a 4 dimensional box, it can't be done).
The second possibility is: the universe not only being infinite in time but in space as well. Spacetime could be infinite and the big bang was a “local” event. The big bang was (lets say) a quantum fluctuation and from this came the inflation and energy of the big bang. From inflation we get the spacetime the observable universe exists in and from the energy we get matter. The rest of the universe may not be like the universe we see, perhaps beyond the spacetime created in the inflation of the big bang dimensions, physics and maybe even time function differently.
The inflationary universe of the big bang could be the natural state of the universe and the observable universe exists within a stable but temporary bubble. We can take this even further: the natural state of the universe could be a chaotic mess; the physics, number of dimensions and even time it self could be in constant flux.
Our universe could be part of a multiverse and “sprouted” out of another universe. Perhaps in a warping of spacetime and physics in black holes is so great that it could cause inflation events that produce universes.
If the many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics is correct it could also mean that every point in space is producing big bangs in other universes. An infinite number of big bangs could be happening right now producing an infinite number of universes with all possible forms of physics.
These are the ones I could think of, there are probably allot more possibilities.
Why not mention god?
A creator being is possible but raises questions; “Where did it come from?”, “How did it do it?” etc. It couldn't exist in the universe before the universe existed thus it had to exist in another universe which brings up the multiverse and with the multiverse you don't need a creator as an explanation, you don't even need a creator as an explanation with out a multiverse. A god is completely unnecessary as an explanation for the origin of the universe and adds more unnecessary questions and assumptions.
What about an infinite regress? Many of the possibilities will have infinite regress.
Infinite regress is not a problem. People see it as a problem because they think infinity is a number, its not. Infinity is a mathematical concept related to numbers. Second: we can't comprehend infinity. Try to imagine an infinite time scale, you'll imagine a long time scale but not actually infinite. You'll always imagine it as two arbitrary points with along time between them. The flaw isn't in an infinite regress, the flaw is in us, we will always view it in terms of boundaries, beginning and end.
In my next post in the series I will leave conjecture behind and get into the actual science of the big bang.
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