Was the Big Bang a Single Event or an Infinite Eternal Recurrence
The theory most accepted is that the universe began with the Big Bang. Then the laws of physics carried it out in a progression that lead to where we are now.
However, I have to ask: Is this a one-time event that worked perfectly, or had it failed many times and repeated until the existence of the universe we now live in?
The Big Bang Had to Be Perfectly Orchestrated
Theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking says that if the Big Bang were just slightly weaker, and the expansion of the universe therefore were slower, the universe would have quickly re-collapsed rather than continue its expansion.
He also added that if the Big Bang were a fraction stronger, then the laws of physics, as we know it, would have turned out differently and the universe would not have been beneficial to life.
In our present universe, all the genetic coding of life is stored in DNA. The molecules of this Deoxyribonucleic Acid are miraculous storage mediums. A single gram of DNA can store 215 petabytes (215 million gigabytes) of data.1
DNA is one of many incredible things necessary for life that formed out of the Big Bang.
Therefore, the theory goes, that there must have been a superior intelligent power in control that created the universe. All this just couldn't have happened so perfectly by itself. It's a once in a lifetime experience. So much can have gone wrong with the Big Bang.
That's what some scientists are suggesting now, despite their tendency to be atheists. They are saying that the Big Bang is a one-time creation that had to be orchestrated by intelligence.
Does the Big Bang Repeat an Infinite Number of Times?
Well, when I had read about all that, I suddenly thought of one important detail that was left out of that hypothesis. Allow me to throw a wrench into this theory.
I'll agree that everything in the universe has been developed, or maybe evolved (if you will), from the Big Bang. I'll also agree that the chances of all of this falling into place so perfectly has a one in a millionths, one in a billionths, or one in a trillionth chance of happening.
For the universe to have been created so perfectly to allow for the laws of nature that make it what it is, and allow for the development of life as we know it, must have had a helping hand! Right?
Wrong! Sorry. I always try to keep an open mind about these things. I would be the first to welcome the idea of God existing. I would welcome Him with open arms. However, at the same time, I am well aware of mathematics and the powerful influence of "infinity."
Oh yes. Infinity. That's the wrench I was speaking of a moment ago.
It goes like this: Time has no beginning and no end. Our human brain has difficulty conceiving of anything that has no ends to it. We need to think there was a beginning to time, and even an end somewhere along the way. But that wouldn't be infinite.
The Power of Eternal Cyclic Time
Let's say time is cyclic. It keeps marching on, but in a circle. Does that mean that everything eventually repeats? Maybe. But then again, maybe not. Maybe it just repeats in a different way each time around.
In addition to that, there are an infinite number of cycles. Time cycles forever, each time repeating in a slightly different way. It can do this repeatedly an infinite number of times.
The cycle repeats: Big Bang; Universe expands; It reaches a point of diminishing returns where the force of the expansion is overwhelmed by the gravity of the elements of the universe; Contraction begins to happen; The universe collapses and falls into a black hole; There’s so much energy in that black hole that it suddenly erupts into another Big Bang.
See my point? This can happen repeatedly. "To infinity and beyond" — as Buzz Lightyear said in the movie Toy Story.
In order to tie all this together so you’d understand my crucial point, let me clearly define two terms that are sometimes confused with one another.
Eternal Recurrence vs. Eternal Reoccurrence
The universe with Eternal Recurrence2 repeats without any changes, but what if various versions need to be tested? That’s where Eternal Reoccurrence becomes important. Note the different spelling. I’ll clarify the meaning of these terms:
- Eternal Recurrence: Recurrence is the return to a certain state. If this continues to happen into eternity then future occurrences of the universe may be repetitions of prior universes. We may have lived before.
- Eternal Reoccurrence: Reoccurrence is something that takes place repeatedly, but not necessarily with the same outcome. If the Big Bang repeats to form another version of the universe, each one might be drastically different.
Each time the universe repeats, something different happens. The Big Bang doesn't explode with the same force. There are two extremes:
- Sometimes it's too weak and the universe implodes again before anything can form.
- Other times the force is too strong and the universe expands so rapidly that the laws of physics are completely convoluted and nothing has a chance, especially life.
Intelligent Higher Power or Random Repetition
So you see? It doesn't take an intelligent higher power to make it work right. All that's required is repetition—Eternal Reoccurrence. Sometimes it works, and most of the time it fails. This can go on eternally until one or more of the repetitions are an exact same state as a prior one—Eternal Recurrence.
We can't help but be alive and exist in this particular cycle of the universe that worked so well to support life. After all, nothing would have allowed for the perfection of physical laws, life and intelligence in any imperfect creation of the universe. Only in our perfect universe have we come to be.
Since there are an infinite number of reoccurrences, the chance of life in any one of the universes is greater than zero. The proof of that is: We are here!
There is even a greater-than-zero chance that we will repeat our lives in an Eternal Recurrence of the universe, maybe even an infinite number of times.3 In some, we will repeat our mistakes; In others, we’ll get it right.
I presented these thoughts to give you something to think about. You may draw your own conclusion.
- Robert Service (Mar. 2, 2017). DNA could store all of the world's data in one room. Science Magazine
- Eternal Recurrence - Wikipedia
- M. Tegmark (May 2003). Parallel Universes. Scientific American, 288(5):40–51.
© 2017 Glenn Stok