Thursday, March 16, 2006

Ab Initio

Time is a bizarre concept, and that intrigues me, especially what happened BEFORE time. Can there be such a thing as "before time"? Some people believe that the Big Bang was the very moment that our Universe was brought into existence. But what happened before that? And how long was there a "nothing"? Did Time not even exist at that point? But if that's the case, then how could anything exist? I think there are really only 3 possible answers to these questions:

1) The Universe and Time simply always existed, created by God who also always existed. Personally, I find this answer a cop out.

2) Just before the Big Bang, the entire mass of the Universe was a point of infinite density, like a singularity. And there simply was no Time before that point because the Universe in this state is dimensionless and the infinite gravity warps Spacetime greatly.

3) Time is infinite and has no beginning or end. In this model, if we had the ability to travel backwards in time, we would travel backwards for an infinite amount of "time" and never get to a beginning. This is a hard idea for me to accept, because how could anything have been? There has to be a beginning of Time, yes? It's cause and effect. I exist because my parents created me who exist because their parents created them and on and on. I mean, how does Time or anything exist without something to CAUSE it to exist, which implies that at some point, it didn't exist.

Maybe I'm thinking of Time as linear. What if Time were spherical - a circle that doesn't have a beginning or an end? But in this model, if we travel back in time far enough, we'll eventually reach the future and then back to the time where we started our journey. And perhaps the Big Bang is that point of the circle where the past and the future meet - the point of repetition.

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