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# How can the universe just "be"?

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posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 10:12 PM

Originally posted by Harte
Spamandham,
The fact that we cannot say what conditions were at t=0 is not the same thing as saying t=0 is nonexistent. t=0 is exactly as existent as 0 itself.

I'm sorry, but t=0 is an actual paradox. It can not exist (if our theories are correct). This is more than simply a failure on our part to say what conditions "were", because the term "were" itself implies time, which ceases to exist as such as the singularity is approached. This is not just a semantic issue, it reveals a failure of logic at t=0.

Originally posted by Harte
There are many examples of things we cannot reach, but may approach at randomly smaller distances, like t=0 here. Google Xeno's paradox for more on this, better yet take a calculus class and see that approaching a limit is pretty much all we can ever do.

Harte

I agree that t=0 can be approached (theoretically). When we bound the age of the universe, we are ignoring everything prior to the Planck time.

I'm familiar with Xeno's paradox, and it has nothing to do with this discussion.

Regarding backtoreality's question on the Hawking quote, I haven't had any luck looking for it either. I paraphrased it, and I'm not sure what the exact quote is. I'll conceed that point since I haven't backed it up.

posted on Jul, 7 2005 @ 02:06 AM
I was hoping you would have more to say about the statement from Mr. Hawking that I provided and it's relation to your theory that the universe "just is". You took a (understandable) liking to Mr. Hawking, but his views on the universe seem to differ from yours at the fundamental level.

posted on Jul, 7 2005 @ 12:58 PM

Originally posted by spamandham
[I'm sorry, but t=0 is an actual paradox. It can not exist (if our theories are correct). This is more than simply a failure on our part to say what conditions "were", because the term "were" itself implies time, which ceases to exist as such as the singularity is approached. This is not just a semantic issue, it reveals a failure of logic at t=0.

I must disagree here. Your argument about the implication of the word "were" is a semantic argument, whether you wish to acknowledge it or not. The same could be said about the number zero. There "is" no value at zero. Here the word "is" implies existence of value in the same way that "were" implies the existence of time.

Originally posted by spamandham

Originally posted by Harte
There are many examples of things we cannot reach, but may approach at randomly smaller distances, like t=0 here. Google Xeno's paradox for more on this, better yet take a calculus class and see that approaching a limit is pretty much all we can ever do.

Harte

I agree that t=0 can be approached (theoretically). When we bound the age of the universe, we are ignoring everything prior to the Planck time.

I'm familiar with Xeno's paradox, and it has nothing to do with this discussion.

If you reread my statements (requoted above) you will see that I did not imply that Xeno had anything to do with 'how the universe can just 'be' ."
But Xeno gives us a very good example of why this belief of the nonexistence of t=0 is at best shortsighted, and hence it certainly applies to this particular part of the discussion. The example of Xeno's paradox, and the method used to overcome it, have direct bearing here.

Without the mathematical concept of "limit", Xeno's paradox cannot be avoided, and there can be no t=0 (in fact, no motion, no existence at all). Conversely, using lim(t->0) allows us to deal with this "paradox", to use your term.

Your recognition of the Planck time as applying in this case is a much better method of throwing a monkeywrench into this limit argument. Limits, in my understanding, only work in a continuum. The existence of quantized time (and length) implies that spacetime is actually not a continuum. This makes more sense than your earlier Clintonesque semantic argument about the meaning of "were". You are correct that the Planck time is the last stop in the negative direction on the t axis. But I would argue that the Planck time is equivalent to t=0. Perhaps not mathematically, but in terms of conditions. You cannot argue that eternity exists between t=0 and t= Planck.

Harte

posted on Jul, 7 2005 @ 01:47 PM

Originally posted by Harte
I must disagree here. Your argument about the implication of the word "were" is a semantic argument, whether you wish to acknowledge it or not. The same could be said about the number zero. There "is" no value at zero. Here the word "is" implies existence of value in the same way that "were" implies the existence of time.

The number "0" is a conceptual thing, not an actual thing. Time is not posited as being merely conceptual, but actual. It isn't merely a semantic argument. You can not make sense of t=0 because it is a contradiction. Since it is a contradiction, there never was a t=0. The universe has solved this contradiction by making the concept of time invalid in the limit toward 0.

Originally posted by Harte
If you reread my statements (requoted above) you will see that I did not imply that Xeno had anything to do with 'how the universe can just 'be' ."
But Xeno gives us a very good example of why this belief of the nonexistence of t=0 is at best shortsighted, and hence it certainly applies to this particular part of the discussion. The example of Xeno's paradox, and the method used to overcome it, have direct bearing here.

Xeno's paradox assumes a framework in which there is time. There is no such framework at t=0, so this is not a good analogy.

Originally posted by Harte
This makes more sense than your earlier Clintonesque semantic argument about the meaning of "were".

It isn't mere semantics to point out contradictions. The contradictions are telling you something. Don't ignore them or attempt to trivialize them away with references to Clinton's equivocations.

Originally posted by Harte
You cannot argue that eternity exists between t=0 and t= Planck.
Harte

If eternity is defined as "timeless existence", then you certainly can make such an argument. If eternity is defined as "existence for all time" then you can also make such an argument. If it means "infinite time", then you are correct.

Perhaps it's best to avoid using the word "eternity" in this discussion since it confuses the matter.

posted on Jul, 7 2005 @ 03:03 PM
To be annoying I'm gonna flip this theory upside down
www.abovetopsecret.com...

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 02:11 PM

Originally posted by Shenroon
To be annoying I'm gonna flip this theory upside down
www.abovetopsecret.com...

As was pointed out by others in that thread, the evidence does not support your speculation. There's no scientific value to wild "what if" scenarios pulled out of thin air.

For all we know, the expansion of the universe is accelerating because it is being pulled back into the singularity from another dimension. Our galaxy is getting closer and closer to the speed of light. At some point it will be within range of the uncertainty principle of the speed of light and will spontaneously reconverge into a singularity in that other dimension.

Is this scenario possible? Maybe. Is there value to this speculation? No, because I made it up based on nothing at all.

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 04:21 PM

Originally posted by spamandham

Originally posted by Harte
I must disagree here. Your argument about the implication of the word "were" is a semantic argument, whether you wish to acknowledge it or not. The same could be said about the number zero. There "is" no value at zero. Here the word "is" implies existence of value in the same way that "were" implies the existence of time.

The number "0" is a conceptual thing, not an actual thing. Time is not posited as being merely conceptual, but actual. It isn't merely a semantic argument. You can not make sense of t=0 because it is a contradiction. Since it is a contradiction, there never was a t=0. The universe has solved this contradiction by making the concept of time invalid in the limit toward 0.

We will have to agree to disagree here. But I find it rather ironic that you use what you call a "conceptual thing" (0) in your description of an "actual thing" (t) without even blushing. I would maintain that 0 is actual rather than conceptual.

Consider an individual's timeline. The start of the timeline for an individual is t=0 for that individual. There is no t=-1 with respect to that individual. It doesn't matter at all to the individual that someone can say that time existed before him, the idea is completely undefined on that individual's timeline. Yet the individual cannot be said to have existed forever, only for all (his or her) time. In this way, the universe has existed for all (it's) time, and time has existed for all universe.

Time is part of the universe. L,W,D,and t are the four dimensions of the universe. Saying t=0 can't exist is precisely like saying L=0,W=0,D=0 can't exist.

Originally posted by spamandham
Xeno's paradox assumes a framework in which there is time. There is no such framework at t=0, so this is not a good analogy.

All things in the universe assume a framework in which time exists, including your argument that t=0 does not exist. This fact in no way detracts from the direct bearing that lim(t->0) has on this argument. Xeno's paradox in it's original form involved motion, which requires the existence of time. But there is no time dimension in the formula 1/x, and this formula is undefined at x=0. Note that this term has a perfectly good definition when stated as lim(x->0)1/x.

You are correct that at t=0 there is no time framework. Also note that at x=0 above you run into similarly undefined territory. This is why we use the limit. In my example, x never reaches zero. In my application of limits to t=0, t never actually reaches zero. The question of what happens at zero, in both cases, is made moot by the use of limits. There is therfore no need to define t=0, only lim(t->0).

Originally posted by spamandhamIt isn't mere semantics to point out contradictions. The contradictions are telling you something. Don't ignore them or attempt to trivialize them away with references to Clinton's equivocations.

It absolutely is semantics to use the definition of the word "were" to try to make a scientific statement about a condition that scientists have already described as completely and ultimately unknowable.

Originally posted by spamandham

Originally posted by Harte
You cannot argue that eternity exists between t=0 and t= Planck.
Harte

If eternity is defined as "timeless existence", then you certainly can make such an argument. If eternity is defined as "existence for all time" then you can also make such an argument. If it means "infinite time", then you are correct.

Perhaps it's best to avoid using the word "eternity" in this discussion since it confuses the matter.

More semantics. Depends on how you define these words. "Timeless existence?" Doesn't the word "existence" imply time? Similarly for "existence for all time." These terms, as well as "infinite time" imply the existence of that which you deny, or will you say there is a difference between t=0 and t=Planck?

It is my opinion that, given a time t, the time t+Planck is (by definition of Planck time) indistinguishable from t. However, this cannot be true of t+(n)Planck, where n>1. (That is to say, change is observable over time other than Planck.) Hence I say that t=Planck is equivalent to t=0, sidestepping the entire argument. I have just "made sense of" t=0.

Harte

[edit on 7/8/2005 by Harte]

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 05:13 PM

Originally posted by Harte
But there is no time dimension in the formula 1/x, and this formula is undefined at x=0. Note that this term has a perfectly good definition when stated as lim(x->0)1/x.

You are correct that at t=0 there is no time framework. Also note that at x=0 above you run into similarly undefined territory. This is why we use the limit. In my example, x never reaches zero. In my application of limits to t=0, t never actually reaches zero. The question of what happens at zero, in both cases, is made moot by the use of limits. There is therfore no need to define t=0, only lim(t->0).

This is the point I've been trying to make. In the limit as t->0, the universe ceases to exist, but you can not actually make it to 0, so the universe can not actually cease to exist, it can only approach nonexistence. Since it can not fail to exist, it is meaningless to speak of a beginning of existence.

Originally posted by Harte
More semantics. Depends on how you define these words. "Timeless existence?" Doesn't the word "existence" imply time? Similarly for "existence for all time." These terms, as well as "infinite time" imply the existence of that which you deny, or will you say there is a difference between t=0 and t=Planck?

I'm not denying the existence of time. I'm denying the nonexistence of time (spacetime). t=0 is undefined, t=Planck is not, so yes, there is a clear difference between them.

Originally posted by Harte
It is my opinion that, given a time t, the time t+Planck is (by definition of Planck time) indistinguishable from t.

Planck time is not the same as infinitesimal. There is a theoretical difference between t and t+Planck.

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 05:42 PM
It is interesting, but I hope we can alle agree in the fact that time is too complex and "containing" for us humans to even begin to fully grasp and truely make correct statements about. We don't know what exactly it is, when it started, wether it always was, etc.

If a persons timeline was nonexistant before t=0, it does not mean time did not exist before t=0.
Comparing the universe to this person is a little weird, because the universe Is everything, where such an individual would just be a small part of everything.

If "everything" can not have a history before t=0, because an individual can not have a history before his t=0, it means there either was an allmighty Creator that started it all at T=0, or everything just magicly popped out of nothing.

An individual does not have history before his personal T=0, but the persons and events that caused this individual to even exist do, and this is why the T=0 of the universe (in our logic) MUST have happened after the existance of a God, or of a big explosion, or whatever thing, leading to the beginning of the universe.

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 05:48 PM
Have you'all read that scientsts (some of them) are now seriously questioning the "Big Bang" theory?

posted on Jul, 9 2005 @ 06:53 AM

Originally posted by backtoreality

Originally posted by xxblackoctoberxx
How can you believe that? Ok, it was ignorant of me to say that it is an obvious reality, but i'm just wondering now, what makes you think, or has you almost convinced there is no other life out there in the universe?

No, it's cool. I totally respect your interpretation. I believe the way I do for many reasons; most notably, the complete lack of evidence. If we are to see the Drake Equation as true, than it would only make sense to believe that there are highly, highly advanced civilizations out there. The question is, why would they have not reached out their hand as eagerly as we are trying to do?

To counter this argument, many people say that the intelligence gap is a prime candidate. I, however, have a major problem with this. This isn't comparing humans to insects, the kind of analogies that are often stated. Logically speaking, the true test to determine if a society was ready for contact with other advanced civilizations is if they themselves are mentally capable of such a thought and are actively searching.

Since we have more than passed this point, without even a hint of contact, this and many other personal factors lead me to believe that we most likely are the only life forms in this universe. If you disagree, that's fine; I'm not lecturing or telling you what to believe, it is simply what I myself believe.

Why do you think 'they' use the same technology to communicate as us? We have only a few ways to let others know we are here. Also, space traveling at high speed (lets say half of lightspeed) would probably mean a collision with whatever floats in space (how do you know the path is clear at such a speed?) And if somebody ever finds something, who say's they let the public know?

Ontopic: I dont have any answer to "How can the universe just 'be'. And i doubt we will ever find the real answer to it.. In the end it will just be a good quess.. If it was 'created' why not just one sun and a planet?..

posted on Jul, 9 2005 @ 07:44 AM
IMO the "universe" question, is identical to the "God" question. And they both are "unanswerable" for now, and normally lead to heated and hateful arguments. I believe one day the question might be answered, but not yet...
To me, these thoughts, are just a natural evolutionary step in the human race. Perhaps we just have not reached the "level" of thought needed to comprehend where "here" is and where the hell it came from...funny how questions like these are zen like no?
We can't even get out of our solar system, what makes us believe that we can comprehend the universe?
Do I believe there is life out there? Of course. It would be arrogant to believe that "we" are the only life that exists. I'm sure that many have evolved to a point of being able to begin to explore. We have, and though it's not on a grand scale, it will naturally have to evolve, and perhaps some of the questions, can be answered.

posted on Jul, 9 2005 @ 10:27 AM

Originally posted by Astronomer68
Have you'all read that scientsts (some of them) are now seriously questioning the "Big Bang" theory?

I'd be interested in a link.

posted on Jul, 9 2005 @ 10:47 AM
HEy my theory is just as plausible as the big bang.
I'm ot saying it's right but all I've done is found a scientific peice of evidence adn put a theory to it.
It sure as hell makes more sense than any god you worship.

posted on Jul, 9 2005 @ 01:41 PM

Originally posted by Shenroon
HEy my theory is just as plausible as the big bang.
I'm ot saying it's right but all I've done is found a scientific peice of evidence adn put a theory to it.
It sure as hell makes more sense than any god you worship.

Your speculation doesn't match the evidence of red shift and cosmic background radiation. These are measured quantities, not just theoretical predictions, and are the reason that the general consensus is a big bang.

Black holes provide corroborating circumstantial confirmation of the big bang, as they demonstrate the reality of singularities.

As you approach a singularity, time ceases; that includes black holes (see page 112 of Hawking's book "The Illustrated A brief history of time - updated and expanded edition"). From the perspective of an outside observer watching from linear time, it would take infinite time to actually reach the singularity. That works the same way whether you are entering one, or emerging from one as we are with the big bang.

What does this mean? It means that although the universe is bounded in age to about 15,000,000,000 years from our current perspective of approximately linear time, it is ceaseless from the perspective of turning the clock back.

A finite universe does not imply a god, and a created universe does not imply a personal creator that wants to be worshipped. Cosmological arguments for god are false dichotomies.

posted on Jul, 10 2005 @ 02:28 PM
Well maybe my theory does match it how do u no that the red shift doesnt fit into my theory. If the one becomes longer than the otyher maybe its cos the other is shrinking but it is remaining unchanged by the shrinking.
(I would say blue and red rays but I cant be bnothered to check which is which
.)

posted on Jul, 10 2005 @ 07:40 PM

Originally posted by Shenroon
Well maybe my theory does match it how do u no that the red shift doesnt fit into my theory. If the one becomes longer than the otyher maybe its cos the other is shrinking but it is remaining unchanged by the shrinking.
(I would say blue and red rays but I cant be bnothered to check which is which
.)

The problem is, you can't seem to be bothered to check anything against your 'theory', which means you are the only one taking yourself seriously. Science isn't just wild speculation in a vacuum.

posted on Jul, 11 2005 @ 01:06 AM
I did check I just couldn't be bothered to put the words red and blue light in. Mine would only make any sense to someone who has already read that anyway. This isnt just wide speculation it has just as much basis as the 'red shift-theory.' BOtht theorys fit the data so what is the point in arguing.

posted on Jul, 11 2005 @ 09:03 AM

Originally posted by Shenroon
I did check I just couldn't be bothered to put the words red and blue light in. Mine would only make any sense to someone who has already read that anyway. This isnt just wide speculation it has just as much basis as the 'red shift-theory.' BOtht theorys fit the data so what is the point in arguing.

A contracting universe does not fit the data. That's pretty much what everyone in the other thread was telling you. If you have a well formulated theory in which a contracting universe produces a red shift and accounts for the cosmic background radiation, and is consistent with general relativity, you should publish the results.

posted on Jul, 12 2005 @ 02:17 AM
Welp, after all of this has been said, I think the one that is most appealing to me is the thought that the universe has just simply always been. It does not explain where it would have come from in the first place, but it doesn't have to. On another thread about the debate on wether or not time existed, I realized that I don't think it does. The universe has just always been with no start.

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