1. Standard memberknightmeister
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    08 Feb '08 14:39
    If one saw a "little" bang (let's say 10 million light years across) way out in the cosmic expanses that after a great flash of light and heat created gases and then stars etc then would it not be logical and scientific to ask "Hmmmm ...I wonder what caused that to happen? "

    My point is that the entire universe is very suggestive of being a created effect which begs a greater question. It is true to say that not everything HAS to have a cause but is it not true to say that the universe certainly has all the hallmarks of being an effect of something else.
  2. Joined
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    08 Feb '08 16:26
    I can't believe there's anybody who doesn't ask "what was before the big bang?"

    However, I personally cannot think of any logical way of answering it, and I would hope the majority of great minds would be prepared to conclude they cannot think of a logical answer either.

    If you leave your house and see a pendulum hanging down, how can you explain it? Is there another rope further up that the pendulum's hanging off, then how can you explain that rope? Another one attached, then how to explain that one? What you really need is a crane, but so far every solution offered to the "before the big bang" question hasn't been a crane, but just hypothesis of another rope.
  3. Standard memberknightmeister
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    09 Feb '08 21:07
    Originally posted by doodinthemood
    I can't believe there's anybody who doesn't ask "what was before the big bang?"

    However, I personally cannot think of any logical way of answering it, and I would hope the majority of great minds would be prepared to conclude they cannot think of a logical answer either.

    If you leave your house and see a pendulum hanging down, how can you expla ...[text shortened]... before the big bang" question hasn't been a crane, but just hypothesis of another rope.
    Exactly , and a crane would look radically different from a rope and have different properties. The universe just doesn't look like a crane , it looks more like a rope would look. Therefore , it's logical to posit some first cause. The idea of an infinite regress of ropes is or ropes without cranes is unsatisfactory.
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    09 Feb '08 21:19
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    If one saw a "little" bang (let's say 10 million light years across) way out in the cosmic expanses that after a great flash of light and heat created gases and then stars etc then would it not be logical and scientific to ask "Hmmmm ...I wonder what caused that to happen? "

    My point is that the entire universe is very suggestive of being a create ...[text shortened]... say that the universe certainly has all the hallmarks of being an effect of something else.
    You little thought experiment is flawed.
    The big bang did not occur 'inside' some bigger universe - it created the universe, including time.
    So the question what happened 'before' is meaningless, since there was no before - before did not exist.
    This doesn't of course, stop scientists from asking about causes of the big bang, and despite all of the whining and 'oh I can't believe this' that comes out of you guys, there are a number of credible hypotheses that does explain the big bang ...
  5. Standard memberknightmeister
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    09 Feb '08 21:26
    Originally posted by amannion
    You little thought experiment is flawed.
    The big bang did not occur 'inside' some bigger universe - it created the universe, including time.
    So the question what happened 'before' is meaningless, since there was no before - before did not exist.
    This doesn't of course, stop scientists from asking about causes of the big bang, and despite all of the whini ...[text shortened]... f you guys, there are a number of credible hypotheses that does explain the big bang ...
    So the question what happened 'before' is meaningless, since there was no before - before did not exist. ------ammanion---------

    I have no idea how you can be so definite about the issue of "before" . There is very little that we know about what might be possible or not possible. We cannot know for certain that time is restricted to our universe or whether our time is the only time that can exist. Infact there is very little we can say at all since it is pretty much inpenetrable. It seems to me more an issue of faith to be so definite about what did or did not exist before the big bang. Our universe may represent a miniscule section of a much bigger reality for all we know.

    What we can say is that explosions or bangs as far as we know are very suggestive of caused events.
  6. Melbourne, Australia
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    09 Feb '08 21:47
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    So the question what happened 'before' is meaningless, since there was no before - before did not exist. ------ammanion---------

    I have no idea how you can be so definite about the issue of "before" . There is very little that we know about what might be possible or not possible. We cannot know for certain that time is restricted to our universe or ...[text shortened]... can say is that explosions or bangs as far as we know are very suggestive of caused events.
    Yes, that's true and note my last point - many scientists have developed possible interpretations for causes of the big bang.
    But of course, since these explanations are natural explanations, they don't require faeries and demons and ghosts and other supernatural entities (like gods), and you'll obviously reject them out of hand ...
  7. Subscriberno1marauder
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    09 Feb '08 21:591 edit
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    If one saw a "little" bang (let's say 10 million light years across) way out in the cosmic expanses that after a great flash of light and heat created gases and then stars etc then would it not be logical and scientific to ask "Hmmmm ...I wonder what caused that to happen? "

    My point is that the entire universe is very suggestive of being a create ...[text shortened]... say that the universe certainly has all the hallmarks of being an effect of something else.
    Yes, it would be.

    However, it would be illogical to answer the question what caused it by saying "God/Thor/FSM" etc. etc. etc. without some evidence that supported such an explanation (or even the existence of the entities supposed to have "caused" anything).
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    11 Feb '08 03:10
    Originally posted by doodinthemood
    I can't believe there's anybody who doesn't ask "what was before the big bang?"

    However, I personally cannot think of any logical way of answering it, and I would hope the majority of great minds would be prepared to conclude they cannot think of a logical answer either.

    If you leave your house and see a pendulum hanging down, how can you expla ...[text shortened]... before the big bang" question hasn't been a crane, but just hypothesis of another rope.
    There was not a before. You're trying to get a vision from outside the universe, and trying to measure time linearly.
    Big Bang is very complex, and people try to argue over it without understanding a minimum of physics.

    Not that I'm defending Big Bang. I personally believe it is wrong. (I hope my Cosmology teacher doesn't read this)
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    11 Feb '08 03:57
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    If one saw a "little" bang (let's say 10 million light years across) way out in the cosmic expanses that after a great flash of light and heat created gases and then stars etc then would it not be logical and scientific to ask "Hmmmm ...I wonder what caused that to happen? "

    My point is that the entire universe is very suggestive of being a create ...[text shortened]... say that the universe certainly has all the hallmarks of being an effect of something else.
    Human beings are too inquisitive... it doesn't matter what happened before the beginning of our existance... it does not affect us, and is impossible to understand.
  10. Cape Town
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    11 Feb '08 07:26
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    If one saw a "little" bang (let's say 10 million light years across) way out in the cosmic expanses that after a great flash of light and heat created gases and then stars etc then would it not be logical and scientific to ask "Hmmmm ...I wonder what caused that to happen? "
    No, It would be logical and scientific to ask: "How did it happen". There is a subtle but important distinction. To ask "what caused" it to happen presupposes a cause and is therefore unscientific.

    My point is that the entire universe is very suggestive of being a created effect which begs a greater question.
    Only to some people. It is not inherent in the universe but something that you project onto it.

    It is true to say that not everything HAS to have a cause but is it not true to say that the universe certainly has all the hallmarks of being an effect of something else.
    No it is not true to say that. In fact I challenge you to list those 'hallmarks' and lets see if they really apply.
  11. Standard memberknightmeister
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    11 Feb '08 08:57
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    No, It would be logical and scientific to ask: "How did it happen". There is a subtle but important distinction. To ask "what caused" it to happen presupposes a cause and is therefore unscientific.

    [b]My point is that the entire universe is very suggestive of being a created effect which begs a greater question.

    Only to some people. It is not inhe ...[text shortened]... that. In fact I challenge you to list those 'hallmarks' and lets see if they really apply.[/b]
    No, It would be logical and scientific to ask: "How did it happen". There is a subtle but important distinction. To ask "what caused" it to happen presupposes a cause and is therefore unscientific. ---whitey----

    I fail to see how asking "how did it happen?" or "what caused it to happen?" is very different. At best there is a cigarette paper between the two. Can you think of any instances in science where someone has asked "how did this happen?" without it being an attempt to find a cause for it? Even the word "happen" suggests causality and time.
  12. Standard memberknightmeister
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    11 Feb '08 09:01
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    No, It would be logical and scientific to ask: "How did it happen". There is a subtle but important distinction. To ask "what caused" it to happen presupposes a cause and is therefore unscientific.

    [b]My point is that the entire universe is very suggestive of being a created effect which begs a greater question.

    Only to some people. It is not inhe ...[text shortened]... that. In fact I challenge you to list those 'hallmarks' and lets see if they really apply.[/b]
    Only to some people. It is not inherent in the universe but something that you project onto it.-whitey-----

    True , it is a projection , as many logical hypotheses are. It is a projection based on logical observation of the natural world around us. Things that explode , heat up , release large amounts of energy tend to have causes. There is not one known event in the universe that bears a passing similarity to the big bang that does not have a cause. Therefore , it's quite a logical extrapolation to think the big bang itself may be caused by something.
  13. Cape Town
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    11 Feb '08 11:49
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    I fail to see how asking "how did it happen?" or "what caused it to happen?" is very different. At best there is a cigarette paper between the two. Can you think of any instances in science where someone has asked "how did this happen?" without it being an attempt to find a cause for it? Even the word "happen" suggests causality and time.
    I did say it was subtle and important.
    As you well know from other threads and possibly your own research, quantum mechanics suggests that on small scales most events are either random or unpredictable. To all intents and purposes they have no cause. Does that mean we cannot investigate how they work?
    Similarly, the start of the universe may not have a cause but still be worth investigating.
    In fact, it is meaningless to talk of a cause when there was no 'before'. Once you accept that time started at the big bang, you either have to give up on all those 'before' and 'cause' questions or redefine the meaning of the words quite radically.
  14. Cape Town
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    11 Feb '08 12:00
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Things that explode , heat up , release large amounts of energy tend to have causes. There is not one known event in the universe that bears a passing similarity to the big bang that does not have a cause. Therefore , it's quite a logical extrapolation to think the big bang itself may be caused by something.
    A strawman.
    The big bang does not involve explosions, heating up or release of energy.

    There is not one known event in the universe that bears a passing similarity to the universe. Full stop. The whole 'that does not have a cause' piece is should be left out as it becomes meaningless.

    Your whole argument from the beginning of the thread is really this:
    "Macro effects in the universe are caused - the big bang was macro therefore it was caused".
    The attempt to liken it to an explosion is mere dramatization and should have been avoided.

    Here are a few counter arguments:
    1. Quantum mechanics implies that larger random effects are less likely - not impossible. So the sudden, random instantiation of a universe is not impossible, simply unlikely. And apart from the difference in probability is actually no different from the well known appearance and disappearance of particles everywhere.
    2. Any observation of a subset of the universe should not be applied to the universe as a whole. You may know everything about quarks and have observed them and know their behaviors but to apply those rules to an atom would be wrong.
    3. As with 2. the simple fact that time is a dimension of the universe rules out any reason to draw a parralel between an event in the universe and treating the universe as an event in some larger time frame.
  15. Standard memberknightmeister
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    11 Feb '08 12:05
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    A strawman.
    The big bang does not involve explosions, heating up or release of energy.

    There is not one known event in the universe that bears a passing similarity to the universe. Full stop. The whole 'that does not have a cause' piece is should be left out as it becomes meaningless.

    Your whole argument from the beginning of the thread is really t ...[text shortened]... en an event in the universe and treating the universe as an event in some larger time frame.
    The big bang does not involve explosions, heating up or release of energy. ---whitey------

    ???? Enlighten me. It certainly expanded very rapidly and was very very hot. It think there was a lot of energy around as well as massive radiation (which can still be detected now)
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