someone please help me understand the "big bang" better

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endsjustifythememe
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someone please help me understand the "big bang" better

Post by endsjustifythememe » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:47 pm

I have read plenty about the "big bang theory" (with minor success) and since I am pretty stupid when it comes to the natural sciences (I'm more of a metaphysical kinda guy, you see..) I was hoping that a few people here might be able to help me with this one question that has been bothering me!

So, to make it short, I think that every chemical reaction needs time to function. Without time, a chemical reaction cannot occur, no matter the environment or components.

If we see this as true, where exactly does time "set in"? If time was around (I know that is a silly concept, time was invented by us to describe our universe, not the other way around, but bear with me pls) before the big bang, wouldn't we have seen different chemical reactions beforehand? If time started with the "big bang", then wtf was going on beforehand? How is it even possible to imagine our current dimension without time? Additionally, I think time cannot be a product of the "big bang", since time was required for it to bang in the first place.

I also want this to be a general discussion of the genesis of our universe as we know it, creatonists are welcome to participate.
aka brian emo aka der ewige lude aka mangoloid aka hera cleetus aka carl the youngest aka based evans

Synsensa
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Re: someone please help me understand the "big bang" better

Post by Synsensa » Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:50 pm

AFAIK, 'before' the Big Bang is currently hand-waved away through quantum mechanics, a field of science we know hardly anything about and thus can't really explain very much of. I think it's a good area to explore although I believe there isn't much of a point in pursuing it right now. That far back in existence is mostly irrelevant to us, and our ability to study it is hampered by our current technological limitations.

On a personal level I'm not sure if I buy the argument that time isn't real. I notice a lot of people far more intelligent than me buying into that theory and treating it as though it's a no-brainer, but to me it appears as though time is a necessary component of our universe's existence and isn't something we merely conjured up to explain changes. Even if we had no concept of time, things would still age and time would still be need to pass in order to form the building blocks of solar systems and atmospheres.

If we're assuming the Big Bang is indeed when our universe started, then I'd say our current perception of time started right then and there. Whether or not time existed beforehand is another matter... and I'm honestly not sure we will ever be able to find the answer.

Lemon Merchant
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Re: someone please help me understand the "big bang" better

Post by Lemon Merchant » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:54 pm

Ahem.

There is some thought on the creation of our universe being linked to another pre-existing universe, and our universe possibly developed through an event in that other universe. In fact, it is suggested by Hawking (to use the most accessible resource) in his book, The Universe in a Nutshell, that there are new universes being created all the time, by events much like the big bang. None of these universes are currently accessible or detectable using our current technology, and perhaps we will never be able to see them or visit them, however they are theorized to at least exist.

So what am I trying to say?

Since it is possible that our universe was "created" by an event in another, and so on and so on... (Space is thought to be infinite, and universes are thought to be like little bubbles in the fabric of space-time, there are "billions and billions", to paraphrase Carl Sagan.) ... we are generating little universes of our own, out in deep space, or even nearby. But since we can't detect them, they don't affect us. Now, we don't know what causes these little universes to be created yet, AFAIK, but the idea isn't all that implausible. As for time, it is believed that while time existed in the universe that spawned us, time did not exist in our universe until the actual big bang event, since nothing in our universe existed prior to that. No existence, no time. This is all postulated by Quantum Mechanics theory, and as Vincour said, it's (so far) a poorly understood science. We have much to discover in this regard, and it's possible that the answers may elude us for thousands of years. We may never definitively prove the existence of other planes of existence, or other universes, much less visit them.

We did not invent time, though we are aware of it. Just like height, width, and depth are dimensions, so is time. It is often thought of as the fourth dimension. Gravity is the fifth, but that is another discussion. As for Creationist theory, who is to say that our universe, and others, aren't engineered? Maybe we were set in motion by a large super-collider on a distant world somewhere by experimenter's much like the people at CERN? Or, possibly, it's like the Creationist mythos says and we were created by some deity for purposes unknown. Personally, I think the idea of creation is a fabrication of man and his early attempts to understand the universe. Since almost all religions have some sort of creation philosophy built into them, this makes me believe that the need to believe something is ingrained in the human psyche. Slowly, religion is being replaced by science as a belief system, and we are moving to a more logical, fact based approach to metaphysical thinking.

Oh my, I've gotten off track again. If you're interested in the subject, I would invite you to read some of the more accessible literature on the subject. Authors such as Hawking and Sagan are a good start. Heck, even the "Cosmos" TV series is worth watching, only because it explains these concepts in layman's terms. Hawking does a good job too, but The Universe in a Nutshell does get a little complicated in spots.

Hope that helped a little. :)
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endsjustifythememe
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Re: someone please help me understand the "big bang" better

Post by endsjustifythememe » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:52 pm

Thank to the two of you, I am already glad I made this thread seeing as how it sparked a nice discussion :)

@Lemon

I am familiar with Hawkins insofar that I've read his most popular book when I was younger and semi-understood it. However there was one particular part of your post I want to comment on:

>We did not invent time, though we are aware of it. Just like height, width, and depth are dimensions, so is time. It is often thought of as the fourth dimension.

I don't think humans ever "invent" anything. Time is merely a descriptor, not an invention. Time's essential function is to measure change. Change is what is actually occurring: "Something" cannot come from "Nothing" and vice versa. "Things" do not pop into existence, they are created out of previous matter, that process is what I call "change".

"Time" helps us rationalize change through our empiric lens, because at the moment that is the best we can do. In that regard I do think time is merely a construct in that it allows us to measure, discuss, rationalize the constant change of every atom around us.
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Lemon Merchant
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Re: someone please help me understand the "big bang" better

Post by Lemon Merchant » Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:36 am

endsjustifythememe wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:52 pm
I don't think humans ever "invent" anything. Time is merely a descriptor, not an invention. Time's essential function is to measure change. Change is what is actually occurring: "Something" cannot come from "Nothing" and vice versa. "Things" do not pop into existence, they are created out of previous matter, that process is what I call "change".
There is some truth to your argument, though I disagree with a couple of your points. It's true that matter can neither be created or destroyed, it only changes form. To that end, the big bang occurred from what is currently thought of as an external event to our universe. I tried to explain this in my post. I agree that something just doesn't appear out of thin air, though, and that's why I mentioned that bit about an external event to the big bang. The problem is, we'll probably never know what triggered the big bang, as we can't see outside our universe, and will probably never be able to.
"Time" helps us rationalize change through our empiric lens, because at the moment that is the best we can do. In that regard I do think time is merely a construct in that it allows us to measure, discuss, rationalize the constant change of every atom around us.
As you say, "(T)ime is merely a descriptor..." This is true. Humans have found a way to understand time, and to measure it quantitatively. Therefore for us, time exists. But what of the lower life forms? Do flatworms experience the passage of time? If not, does time exist for them? It must, because they grow and change with it just as we do, but perhaps they can't rationalize it and discuss it in their little flatworm way. The concept of time is for us a way of (as you say) rationalizing an abstract concept.

Time did not exist before the creation of our universe. How can there be time if there is no universe to contain it, or be measured by it? It began with the big bang, just as our universe did. Time, like height and width and gravity are fundamental dimensions of our universe and nothing takes place without it. Without it, everything would be static. There would be no universe beyond the moment of creation - if it evolved at all.
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Valka D'Ur
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Re: someone please help me understand the "big bang" better

Post by Valka D'Ur » Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:37 am

I just noticed this thread.

I have a button that says something to the effect that time is nature's way of making sure everything doesn't all happen at once (I don't remember the exact wording). When I think of time, I have a mental image of a long ribbon of dates stretching from the remote past to the remote future, and that it's possible to drop in on any particular year at will (such thinking tends to occur to people who are addicted to the science fiction subgenres of time travel and alt history).

As for the universe itself... the Big Bang did happen, since we're here discussing it. I have never been presented with any evidence I would accept that would prove that any supernatural being caused the universe to exist. I have zero patience with the "intelligent design theory" - which is just "creationism" in fancier words.

In addition to Carl Sagan and Cosmos (the NDT version also talks about the origin of the universe, of course), I would recommend reading astrophysicist Lawrence Krauss' book A Universe From Nothing.

Some people find Krauss a bit abrasive in his lectures and debates, but he's definitely dedicated to figuring out the question of how the universe came about.
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Cutlass
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Re: someone please help me understand the "big bang" better

Post by Cutlass » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:25 pm

I don't recall the details, but years ago I read an article with the theory that there are these vast energy membranes wobbling through spacetime. And when 2 of them come into contact, that's the (or a) big bang.

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Re: someone please help me understand the "big bang" better

Post by Lexicus » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:03 pm

We can't even see outside the observable part of our universe, which is quite small compared to the whole thing.

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Valka D'Ur
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Re: someone please help me understand the "big bang" better

Post by Valka D'Ur » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:55 pm

Cutlass wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:25 pm
I don't recall the details, but years ago I read an article with the theory that there are these vast energy membranes wobbling through spacetime. And when 2 of them come into contact, that's the (or a) big bang.
You mean string theory? Lawrence Krauss is skeptical of that, but who knows... it's going to take a long time to understand this stuff.
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Cutlass
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Re: someone please help me understand the "big bang" better

Post by Cutlass » Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:17 pm

Valka D'Ur wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:55 pm
Cutlass wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:25 pm
I don't recall the details, but years ago I read an article with the theory that there are these vast energy membranes wobbling through spacetime. And when 2 of them come into contact, that's the (or a) big bang.
You mean string theory? Lawrence Krauss is skeptical of that, but who knows... it's going to take a long time to understand this stuff.

I don't think it was string theory. Although I really don't understand that theory. I can at best handle a layman's simplification of these things. And not even all of that. I used to read the science magazines fairly regularly. But have fallen out of the habit of doing so.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-theory

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