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Old 02-11-2018, 08:05 PM
thatbpguy thatbpguy is offline
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What Existed Before Anything Existed?

At some point in "time" there were no suns, planets, galaxies, cosmic dust.... nothing. At some time there was absolutely nothing. How did this all come about?
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:15 PM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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Nobody knows.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:17 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Pretty much THE question.

"Where the fuck did all this (arms wide) come from?"
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:18 PM
thatbpguy thatbpguy is offline
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Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner View Post
Nobody knows.
Oh. Well I guess we can close this thread.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:19 PM
Francis Vaughan Francis Vaughan is online now
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Nobody has any real idea.
However, here is no reason to say that there was "nothing". Nor indeed is it clear what it means to say "at some point in time." Current thinking starts the clock at the big bang. There was no time as we know it except when the clock was running. The clock only exists when the universe does. Which is why we talk of spacetime as a single entity. No space, no time.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:23 PM
thatbpguy thatbpguy is offline
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Nobody has any real idea.
However, here is no reason to say that there was "nothing". Nor indeed is it clear what it means to say "at some point in time." Current thinking starts the clock at the big bang. There was no time as we know it except when the clock was running. The clock only exists when the universe does. Which is why we talk of spacetime as a single entity. No space, no time.
SO how did the big bang occur if absolutely nothing existed? And how did it create so much matter?
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:28 PM
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There was no point in time when nothing existed. The existence of an arrow of time derives from the state of the universe, so you don't have time if nothing exists. You can find talks and articles by Sean Carroll on this. Much of it is, frankly, beyond me - but he's an interesting guy, and a good speaker.

But probably what you're getting at is more the "why is there something rather than nothing" question. That's something I don't think there's any satisfactory answer to. Of course, that doesn't mean there's not a Wikipedia article about it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proble...nything_at_all

Last edited by Riemann; 02-11-2018 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:31 PM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is offline
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At some point in "time" there were no suns, planets, galaxies, cosmic dust.... nothing. At some time there was absolutely nothing.

Cite?
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:32 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Since we really have no concept of anything outside of space and time, it would be impossible for us to conceive of anything there could be without describing it in terms of what we know, which is space and time.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:35 PM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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At some point in "time" there were no suns, planets, galaxies, cosmic dust.... nothing. At some time there was absolutely nothing.
You sure about that?
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:46 PM
BobBitchin' BobBitchin' is online now
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I'd like to add, in addition to "we don't know what was before the big bang".

We don't know what the rules were.

We always say, "something can't come from nothing".

Well, that's true " here"and " now". But before here and now started, we don't know what was possible.

We conceptualize everything in where and when terms. In the continuum that spawned us, those terms may not apply.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:51 PM
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Taking "God" as shorthand for "the universe," this pretty much sums up what is known of the time before time and space:

https://webringjustice.files.wordpre...im_starlin.jpg
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:56 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Taking "God" as shorthand for "the universe," this pretty much sums up what is known of the time before time and space:

https://webringjustice.files.wordpre...im_starlin.jpg
Well right, it would be like describing a modern smartphone to someone from 2000 BC. The only concepts they'd have to explain such a thing would be "The Gods" or "Magic/Sorcery".

"No no, it sends a signal..."
"Like what, with small demons or birds?"
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:03 PM
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By extension, the follow up question is, why did the big bang occur when it did? If there were no events to mark the passage of time, when did the big bang take place, and why did it wait so long?
Why didn't it happen soonere? What did the big bang have to wait for, before it was ready, and what changes were taking placed in preparation for the event?

And why did it happen there, and not somewhere else?

Last edited by jtur88; 02-11-2018 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:08 PM
Francis Vaughan Francis Vaughan is online now
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SO how did the big bang occur if absolutely nothing existed? And how did it create so much matter?
Um, that is why I said it isn't a given that nothing existed. It was you that said there was nothing, not me.

The amount of space and matter is something of a scale thing. When you look inside matter as we know it - it is, to a very good approximation, empty. Even things like neutron stars are almost completely comprised of empty space.
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:11 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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By extension, the follow up question is, why did the big bang occur when it did? If there were no events to mark the passage of time, when did the big bang take place, and why did it wait so long?
It happened at Zero on our celestial clock and time is a function of the Universe, so there was no 'time' before the Universe began and it wasn't 'waiting'.

Quote:
Why didn't it happen sooner? What did the big bang have to wait for, before it was ready, and what changes were taking placed in preparation for the event?
As there was no "Time", there was no "sooner".

Quote:
And why did it happen there, and not somewhere else?
It happened everywhere we know of, not at some "there" point.
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:12 PM
GreenWyvern GreenWyvern is online now
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At some point in "time" there were no suns, planets, galaxies, cosmic dust.... nothing. At some time there was absolutely nothing. How did this all come about?
The idea that something can come out of nothing is utterly irrational.

If there is nothing, then there will continue to be nothing. There is no other possibility.

If there are laws of nature which have a tendency to produce space/time/matter, then there is not nothing: there are laws of nature. Then the question remains as to where these laws of nature came from. Ad infinitum.

The idea of the universe coming out of nothing for no reason is less rational and less believable than any miracle recounted in any religion.

The only possible conclusion is that there has always been 'something'. Of course, when we say 'always' we assume the existence of time, but if 'something' created time, then there must have been 'something'.

Thomas Aquinas, back in the 13th century, gave this line of argument:
1. There exist things that are caused (created) by other things.
2. Nothing can be the cause of itself (nothing can create itself.)
3. There cannot be an endless string of objects causing other objects to exist.
4. Therefore there must be an uncaused first cause, which is called God.
Philosophers and theologians have been debating and arguing these issues in great detail and at great length for centuries.

Don't imagine that there is anything you could say on the subject that hasn't already been said in thick, closely-reasoned volumes by distinguished professors - and then disagreed about and argued against in other thick, closely-reasoned volumes by other distinguished professors.
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:23 PM
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Given unlimited time an unlimited situations, it's possible we've already done this thread in the past.
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:07 AM
Ornery Bob Ornery Bob is offline
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The idea that something can come out of nothing is utterly irrational.

How do you know what is rational when it comes to the creation of a universe? You don't know anything about it; let alone if it makes sense in some way you can call rational. To presume you can understand the creation of the universe through rational argument is silly.

Rationality is a fun game, but there's no reason to expect it can explain the creation of something we know almost nothing about. Currently, neither dark matter nor dark energy have any rational explanation, yet we believe they are the vast majority of "what exists."

Rationality can't even explain what the universe *is* let alone how it came to be.
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:17 AM
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Forget about matter. Matter is just frozen energy, and right after the big bang energy is all there was.
And perhaps the sum of energy in the universe is zero. If so, there is no reason for the Big Bang not to have happened.

There is also speculation that our universe is a baby universe pinched off from another which is pinched off from another. It would be universes all the way down. In fact universes could evolve, with universes with natural constants most suitable for producing other ones more prevalent than others.

I don't know if Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle applies outside our universe, but if it does nothing is not a stable state. That's the reason for quantum foam.
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:17 AM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Given unlimited time an unlimited situations, it's possible we've already done this thread in the past.
47,308 times.

Twelve times we agreed there was a giant hotdog before the Universe began.

Damn, I'm old.
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:25 AM
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I don't know if Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle applies outside our universe, but if it does nothing is not a stable state. That's the reason for quantum foam.
Lawrence Krauss's "A Universe From Nothing" took this kind of approach, but it doesn't address the deeper philosophical "why something rather than nothing" problem, because the physical laws that govern the processes (however deep you go) sure look like they are a "something" that we can imagine did not exist. I doubt that there's any satisfying way to address that deeper question. It's turtles all the way down.

Last edited by Riemann; 02-12-2018 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:36 AM
INFOSEEKER II INFOSEEKER II is offline
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There was no point in time when nothing existed. The existence of an arrow of time derives from the state of the universe, so you don't have time if nothing exists. You can find talks and articles by Sean Carroll on this. Much of it is, frankly, beyond me - but he's an interesting guy, and a good speaker.

But probably what you're getting at is more the "why is there something rather than nothing" question. That's something I don't think there's any satisfactory answer to. Of course, that doesn't mean there's not a Wikipedia article about it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proble...nything_at_all
There is no time in space! We judge our world time by the units of measure as the world rotates 1 complete rotation. Dividing it into increments of Day, Hour, Minute, second and so on.
If we send a space craft to the moon, it is referenced to world time. It takes so many days/months etc. to arrive at a location and return.
Once a body/planet etc. is moving it has nothing to resist therefore it continues to move if no other planet or ? is close enough to cause a magnetic pull. If the pull is great enough it will orbit the close object.
To keep the world in orbit it has to travel at an exact speed that balances out the magnetic pull of the sun and the inertia that wants it to pull away as a ball on a string pulls away when whirled around.
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:45 AM
Riemann Riemann is offline
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It's hard to disagree with that.
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Old 02-12-2018, 03:32 AM
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The thing is, saying that "there was no before time itself" miss the point a little bit because when people ask about what was before the big bang, they often mean before in an explanatory sense. It's really a philosophical question, that is somewhat difficult to clearly articulate in English.

And the simple answer is: we don't know. The first few answers in this thread got it.

And not "We don't know, therefore god" but just "We don't know".
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Old 02-12-2018, 03:45 AM
GreenWyvern GreenWyvern is online now
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Originally Posted by INFOSEEKER II View Post
There is no time in space! We judge our world time by the units of measure as the world rotates 1 complete rotation. Dividing it into increments of Day, Hour, Minute, second and so on.
If we send a space craft to the moon, it is referenced to world time. It takes so many days/months etc. to arrive at a location and return.
Once a body/planet etc. is moving it has nothing to resist therefore it continues to move if no other planet or ? is close enough to cause a magnetic pull. If the pull is great enough it will orbit the close object.
To keep the world in orbit it has to travel at an exact speed that balances out the magnetic pull of the sun and the inertia that wants it to pull away as a ball on a string pulls away when whirled around.
- Actually, there is time in space. That's why it's called 'space-time' - a single concept - because space and time are inseparable. See Einstein's Special and General theories of relativity.

- Our time standards are based on vibrations of the Caesium atom, not on the orbit or rotation of the earth.

- I'm sure you mean 'gravitational', not 'magnetic'.

- A planet doesn't have to travel 'at an exact speed'. If the speed is greater, it will simply go into a higher orbit. In fact, the speed is constantly varying since the orbit is not circular, but elliptical.
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:37 AM
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- Actually, there is time in space. That's why it's called 'space-time' - a single concept - because space and time are inseparable. See Einstein's Special and General theories of relativity.
Yeah - that's the trouble with threads like this - 'time' means at least two different things:
  • The universal phenomenon that allows change to occur and causes events to happen after or before other events (this is the one that's meaningful to the question)
  • Years, Months, days, hours, seconds, ticking clocks, rising and setting suns etc - units and conventions we use for measuring the above on Earth (this is the one that people tend to think is meaningful)

Last edited by Mangetout; 02-12-2018 at 04:37 AM.
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:15 AM
Francis Vaughan Francis Vaughan is online now
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Perhaps - what were the preconditions that, allowed/were required for, our universe to exit?
There is a notion of change of state, of something. But it doesn't need to be a change that occurs in our current universe's space-time domain. Hardly watertight, but maybe an improvement.
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Old 02-12-2018, 06:55 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is online now
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The idea that something can come out of nothing is utterly irrational.
Why? What actual, rational explanation do you have for why nothing cannot spontaneously give rise to something?
Quote:
If there is nothing, then there will continue to be nothing. There is no other possibility.
Of course there is. Causality could be bunk.
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:00 AM
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If there are laws of nature which have a tendency to produce space/time/matter, then there is not nothing: there are laws of nature. Then the question remains as to where these laws of nature came from. Ad infinitum.
Indeed, this is my (amongst others' of course) reply to the stock answer that people have thrown around for the past 10 years or invoking quantum instability etc. There needs to be some sort of matrix and laws for this randomness to create something out of, and that isn't "nothing".
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:23 AM
GreenWyvern GreenWyvern is online now
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Why? What actual, rational explanation do you have for why nothing cannot spontaneously give rise to something?
Of course there is. Causality could be bunk.
Causality could be bunk? So you're saying that the universe could have been created by a miracle?

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Old 02-12-2018, 08:30 AM
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Before this universe was another one. It contracted due to the Big Crunch, which was followed by the Big Bang. And before that one, there was another one.

It's a good a theory as any, and so far, hasn't been proved wrong. For now, I'm sticking to it.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:38 AM
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Before this universe was another one. It contracted due to the Big Crunch, which was followed by the Big Bang. And before that one, there was another one.

It's a good a theory as any, and so far, hasn't been proved wrong. For now, I'm sticking to it.
Turtles... uh, universes... all the way down? 
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:58 AM
Lucas Jackson Lucas Jackson is offline
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Well right, it would be like describing a modern smartphone to someone from 2000 BC. The only concepts they'd have to explain such a thing would be "The Gods" or "Magic/Sorcery".

"No no, it sends a signal..."
"Like what, with small demons or birds?"
Iíll have you know my phone signals do go out as little demons!
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:55 AM
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The Bright and Luminous Void of nothingness
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:02 AM
Mr Quatro Mr Quatro is offline
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Ask a simple question like, "Why am I here"?
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:16 AM
Riemann Riemann is offline
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Ask a simple question like, "Why am I here"?
I think we already did that one, at least for IT staff on a snow day. It was something about the accounting department being there to do payroll, and somebody has to fix the photocopier if it breaks.
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:29 AM
Mr Quatro Mr Quatro is offline
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At some point in "time" there were no suns, planets, galaxies, cosmic dust.... nothing. At some time there was absolutely nothing. How did this all come about?
With only 35 posts I can only imagine your next question, but seriously if it was before the universe which fills all in all then there was nothing to see till God said, "Let there be light".

These are the same questions they ask on the other side as soon as you get there, but I'm not there yet so I can't answer your question.

Anyone else is just an uneducated guess ...
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:37 AM
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We don't actually know that "nothing" existed prior to the Big Bang, just that the Big Bang allowed the formation of the various particles and waves that we now use to observe and measure the universe. As a result, the Big Bang is as far back as can look (and likely will ever be able to look) with the tools at hand and any we are likely to develop in future.

Introducing a god into this is a waste of effort - it adds no understanding, just more complexity.
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:43 AM
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Before this universe was another one. It contracted due to the Big Crunch, which was followed by the Big Bang. And before that one, there was another one.

It's a good a theory as any, and so far, hasn't been proved wrong. For now, I'm sticking to it.
I'm pretty sure it has been disproven, at least so far as our current universe is concerned. There simply isn't enough mass and spacetime is expanding too fast (and even accelerating!) for it all to come back together again in a big crunch, no matter how long we wait. Of course that's all based on our current understanding of cosmology.
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:54 AM
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The idea that something can come out of nothing is utterly irrational.
How do you know? Have you ever examined a "nothing" to see what its properties are? If you're talking about the philosopher's "nothing" where there is no time, space, or matter, or even any properties at all, we don't even know whether it's possible for that state to exist, let alone if it did, how it might behave.

Your statement above seems to me to be devoid of meaning.
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:59 AM
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How do you know? Have you ever examined a "nothing" to see what its properties are? If you're talking about the philosopher's "nothing" where there is no time, space, or matter, or even any properties at all, we don't even know whether it's possible for that state to exist, let alone if it did, how it might behave.

Your statement above seems to me to be devoid of meaning.
From what I see, there are only two possibilities: There has been nothing that eventually became something, or there always has been something. Both are equally irrational to me. This is not a question that will ever have an answer. It doesn't make any sense that anything is here.
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:08 PM
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Pretty much THE question.
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
This is not a question that will ever have an answer.
42.



Somebody had to say it!
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:11 PM
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https://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/2010-07-08
  #45  
Old 02-12-2018, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
47,308 times.

Twelve times we agreed there was a giant hotdog before the Universe began.

Damn, I'm old.
"A mighty hot dog is our Lord!" </Firesign>

I'm old too.
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:29 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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With only 35 posts I can only imagine your next question, but seriously if it was before the universe which fills all in all then there was nothing to see till God said, "Let there be light".

These are the same questions they ask on the other side as soon as you get there, but I'm not there yet so I can't answer your question.

Anyone else is just an uneducated guess ...
Wait. God is the serious answer and anything else is just an uneducated guess?

We're in GQ. Witnessing is for GD. We have no need of that hypothesis.

The answer that seems to fit the known facts better, and is the definition of an educated guess, is that there cannot be "nothing." We know that virtual particles exist, we know that quantum rules describe the universe to great precision, we know that "something" is created out of "nothing" on a regular basis (at the event horizon of black holes for one example). Ridding ourselves of the uneducated concept of "nothing" would seem to be a major advance in the history of human thought. Why should that cause any more anguish than ridding ourselves of the uneducated notion that the sun revolves around the earth?
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:34 PM
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We know that virtual particles exist, we know that quantum rules describe the universe to great precision, we know that "something" is created out of "nothing" on a regular basis (at the event horizon of black holes for one example).
I'm not sure if anyone who understands this concept disagrees that this is possible, given that these rules exist and that there is a place for these to play out. But this isn't nothing, and there's no reason for these rules to be set up this way which makes something necessary.
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:59 PM
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From what I see, there are only two possibilities: There has been nothing that eventually became something, or there always has been something. Both are equally irrational to me. This is not a question that will ever have an answer. It doesn't make any sense that anything is here.
As far back as we are able to observe - there has always been something. There was never a 'time' that we could point to that there was 'nothing'. The only reason people as 'what happened before we existed' is to give a wedge to their deity/creation myth of choice.

And then - lets just posit that the one in Genesis is correct - if we use that as our point of reference - SOMETHING still existed at that point in order to create the rest - so there was still no point that nothing existed.
  #49  
Old 02-12-2018, 02:22 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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SUre, my assumption is that "this" always "was," "has been," "is," and "will be" but it seems equally incomprehensible to me.
  #50  
Old 02-12-2018, 03:12 PM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simster View Post
The only reason people as 'what happened before we existed' is to give a wedge to their deity/creation myth of choice.
It always amazes me that people find the concept of an eternal God capable of creating a whole universe out of nothing as the thing they can wrap their head around as comprehensible in all this.
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