Conception of the universe before the Big Bang

Some would say that the universe simply always was. It’s in an endless cycle of expansion and contraction and there was no beginning. I find that assertion pretty hard to swallow. Given an infinite amount of time already passing, wouldn’t all things that were physically able to occur have occurred? The universe would be in some kind of final resting state and that obviously is not the case.

My (extremely vague) conception of it is influence by my (extremely shallow) understanding of quantum mechanics. According to my understanding of quantum mechanics, things can just happen at the subatomic level with no apparent cause. This is where my brain starts to hurt. I think that the universe might have been caused by some random quantum event, but as for what came before that, I have no clue.

I know there’s no way, yet, to actually know exactly what happened before the Big Bang so this is a purely hypothetical thread. I was just wondering how a bunch of very intellectual people conceptualize this kind of stuff. Bonus points if there are any theoretical or quantum physicists out there willing to shed some light on the current consensus (if there is one).

This is certainly not meant to be a religious thread baiting people into an argument for the existence of a god. As an avowed atheist, I assure you all that is not my opinion. If that is your opinion, however, feel free to voice it.

Here’s a very accessible essay by theoretical physicist Paul Davies on the matter.

My own take is that the question of what happened ‘before’ the Big Bang likely just isn’t correctly asked – a bit like the question of what is ‘north’ of the north pole.

I’m not a physicist, or any other kind of scientist either. However, it seems as if the expansion/contraction/restart model is no longer on the table. It was thought that the outward expansion might be slowed and eventually reversed by gravity. But recent measurements indicate the outward expansion is accelerating rather than slowing, for reasons not completely understood.

I don’t know where this fallacy got started, but it’s definitely a fallacy. Whether you’re talking about infinite time or infinite space, there’s no reason why a particular unlikely occurrence ***must ***exist. There would just be a lot of repitition of more common occurrences.