Before Big Bang 2.2
Thinking Outside The Bubble
Nothing that was said in Part 1 of this article precludes the possibility of there having been some kind of cosmic event that began our time / space continuum (I love that phrase, it’s so Doctor Whoish,) It is quite feasible, even likely that the matter now expanded into our galaxy or even a cluster of galaxies was compressed into a unit the size of a small planet that existed at the bottom of a black hole. This depends on how we define what it is to exist. Science holds only that which is within time exists, but science by its nature requires this view.
Our concept of time comes from guesses and assumptions about the nature of "the beginning." Scientists measure the Universe in terms of the shock wave travelling outwards from the big bang and space as that area contained within an imaginary sphere surrounded by that shockwave. So going back to the mouse turd, what the scientists are saying is only that which is within time and space, inside the imaginary bubble in other words, exists. They tell us to think outside the box and yet they cannot think outside the bubble.
Were we able to surf that shockwave still spreading outwards from the big bang, in front of us would be an infinite ocean of nothingness occasionally punctuated by who knows what.
What is suggested next though is quite scary if you think about it too deeply. Imagine that truly infinite universe in which time and space have no meaning. Eternity, time without beginning or end; infinity, an endless void; and somewhere in all that, in a bubble of space and time, a small planet orbiting a small star. Us.
Infinity and eternity are so big it is impossible to get the human mind round them, hardly surprising then that some people cling to the idea of a supernatural being looking after it all.
Consider our perception of the nature of time and it is clearly very subjective. Sometimes time rushes past, others it seems to stand still. If you don’t believe me try watching a dodgy episode of Columbo after being trapped in a hospital bed for a few weeks. I have, and every second of the show lasts for several years.
We really have three distinct types of time, scientific time which Stephen Hawking wrote about and the Big bang theorists rely on, Calendar time, the type we use for knowing when its our birthday etc.; and personal time, that great variable that flows like tar if we are doing something we have to do when we’d rather be doing something else, but is gone as quickly as lightning when we are having fun.
An interesting idea about how we may experience eternal life is based on our experience of dreams coupled with perceptions of time.
Close to death the organs fail and the senses shut down, this is the end of consciousness. Researchers are sure that brain activity continues for several seconds, but as in dreams we do not have those sensual references that make us aware of the passing of time. A dream experience may be remembered as having lasted for hours or days but in reality is over in seconds. Dreams are experienced in a state in which though senses are shut down, we are still breathing and have a pulse. That mysterious natural clock which wakes up at a required time when something important must be done is still functioning and the emergency systems that have saved so many people by somehow cutting through sleep to warn of danger are still present.
What may happen in those few dying seconds when all the reference points are gone?
I’ve been close enough to know its a very weird but in no way frightening experience. And for the record, there was no white clad figure at the end of a long corridor, no loved one from my past to tell me to return as it was not my time and, the biggest disappointment, Elvis didn’t show either. I vaguely remember some very weird experiences that could not have happened in reality though.
Is this how Eastern mystics experience Nirvana, oneness with all things, do they somehow cut themselves off from all sensual references to that time temporarily ceases for them?
Time used for administrative purposes then is measured by the mechanics of the solar system, our real experience of it is more subjective.
What may is going on beyond our beyond our solar system where our measures are meaningless? How can we hope to make sense of our observations of what we assume to be distant galaxies by applying mathematics meaningful only in our solar system. If the truth is out there then that truth includes a realisation that time as we know it has no meaning. Without time does anything have meaning.
One of my favourite philosophical quotations is from Immanuel Kant:
"objects that exist in the world are real, but the human mind is needed to give them order and form and to see the relationships between them. Only the mind can surround them with space and time."
That is a very insightful statement for somebody who died in 1804, before modern physics had started to unravel the mysteries of The Universe. It also puts into perspective the cod philosophy of modern writers who have suggested that nothing is real and we all live in a world of our own creation.
Where are we? Oh yes, floating on a fragment of a cosmic mouse turd in infinite, timeless space. The question is: what goes on in that space if we leap beyond the boundary of our scientific universe. Were there other universes that as ours expands are collapsing to make room for it? Are there even now younger, more aggressively energetic Universes closing in on us, eager to push us back into a tiny pellet of matter and occupy our space for themselves? Are there an infinite number of overlapping universes existing in their own dimensions and not interfering with each other. The winners of last year’s Nobel Prize for Physics, for their work on giantmagneto resistance, the technology that enables hundreds of gigabytes storage capacities on hard drives that ten years ago would only hold tens of megabytes might suggest the latter is feasible, if it works on your hard drive why not on a cosmic scale?
Was our Big Bang the latest stage in an endless cycle of similar expansions and contractions?
Is the recorded " background radiation" alleged to be echoes of the big bang really just a trick of infinity and eternity, the radiation given off by stars in an earlier Universe and echoing forever around infinite space perhaps?
The answers to all these and millions more questions is, "We don’t know," which is the same answer as an honest scientist would give to the question, "Was there really a Big Bang, a cosmic event that signalled the beginning of everything or was it just a regular bang, part of an endless cycle of bangs?"
The line the scientists take is that time and space began with the Big Bang and nothing can exist outside time and space. As I have tried to show through Immanuel Kant’s words and some of my own tongue in cheek analysis, time and space are not part of reality but tools used by the human mind to measure our relationships with the things within reality.
So before big bang, in that endless timeless space outside the mouse turd, things were going on, probably very similar things to those going on in our universe now. The things that happen in our Universe only happen because there are humans to measure them. That other things happened or are happening or will happen outside our experience of time and space does not mean those things does not alter their reality, what’s missing is the human mind to surround them with time and space. What we learn from all this is the place we humans occupy in the great scheme of things is not nearly as important as we like to think.
It is totally insignificant in fact.
Deconstruction of Big Bang however should not be taken as proof of any other theory about the beginning of everything, especially not those favoured by religions. Unless God is a mouse turd of course.
Big Bang Theory - Conventional View
Big Bang or Damp Squib - An Alternative Cosmology
Wikipedia on redshift