Was the Big Bang a Single Event or an Infinite Eternal Recurrence

Updated on August 5, 2018
Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok has a Master of Science degree and he enjoys studying, researching, and discussing fields of science, physics and philosophy.

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?

Source

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.

Stephen Hawking - Born January 8, 1942 in Oxford, U.K., Died March 14, 2018 in Cambridge
Stephen Hawking - Born January 8, 1942 in Oxford, U.K., Died March 14, 2018 in Cambridge | Source


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.

Model of the universe since the Big Bang
Model of the universe since the Big Bang | Source

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:

  1. Sometimes it's too weak and the universe implodes again before anything can form.
  2. 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.

References

© 2017 Glenn Stok

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Zina Vejzovic - You totally got it! Your review of my article is right on target. I can see you read very word and that you obviously studied this concept.

      I have another article where I discuss this subject even further that you might be interested in. Look for “Observing the Evolution of Time and Space Since the Big Bang” in my article listing in my profile.

      Thanks for your wonderful review.

    • Zina Vejzovic profile image

      Zina Vejzovic 

      3 months ago

      Greetings, this article left me speechless in a wonderful and satisfying way. I had my thoughts on this theory a long time ago. The Big Bang is very likely to repeat itself and that we lived before in some previous cycle of the universe ...of course, we absolutely cannot be aware of that. There is no need for higher intelligence to create a onetime universe and I strongly believe the universe is going in cycles. Like you said, "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." Great article, thank You.

    • profile image

      isaac 

      5 months ago

      this blows my mind. wow. fantastic article

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      5 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Karma, Of course no one can answer it, because it’s all a theoretical discussion. Even the things I discuss in my articles are based only on theory.

      By the way, since you were wondering where was God before the beginning, you might find my other article of interest to you: “Did God Have a Creator?”

      https://owlcation.com/humanities/the-beginning-of-...

    • profile image

      karma 

      5 months ago

      I'm not an atheist, but I do agree on your idea about "repeat eternally". Actually, I've once posted about this similar idea in a Christian Forum with an argument "if our known universe today was created by God - then what did He do before he create this known universe ?"

      Then I posit the idea "there had been another universe (not necessary the same with our known one) before our known universe today".

      The members of the forum reject the idea. They insist there must be a beginning, something cannot just keep on repeating by itself - so there must be The Initiator, they say. But when I ask "why not, if God Himself is eternal ?", they can not answer it. :).

      Thank you for your article.

    • profile image

      Manuel 

      5 months ago

      No problem!!! And I do understand it's all hypothetical. I just hope it's true because I've been having a hard time recently thinking this is the only experience I will ever have, and this conscious experience will never happen again, meaning I will essentially disappear after death. I would certainly love to experience my life again, I just hope my attraction to eternal recurrence isn't simply wishful thinking. That's why I found your article to comforting, because it gave me a little hope.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      5 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Yes I do find their work interesting, although I didn’t know about Neil Turok. I see he is also a Theoretical Physicist, so I’ll have to check out his recent lectures. I’m surprised I missed that one since he is also tries to explain the big bang. Thanks for adding that information Manuel.

    • profile image

      Manuel 

      5 months ago

      I totally understand. In regards to what you’re talking about, have you researched Paul Steinhardt’s and Neil Turok’s, along with Roger Penrose separately, concept of the cyclic universe? I think you would find them interesting

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      5 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Manuel - I can’t say you’re overthinking it or not, since you’re intitled to come up with your own philosophical thoughts, just as I have done. Non of this is factual anyway. It’s all simply for hypothetical discussion.

      Having said that, I would clarify one thing—that the hypothesis I discuss is about the universe repeating from scratch. So in that sense I don’t think we would ever be aware of a previous existence.

      Eternal Recurrence is not my idea. Notice the reference to Wikipedia.

    • profile image

      Manuel 

      5 months ago

      I was wondering because when you die, you essentially cease perceiving time. So once you die, if you return in another cycle, it could feel like undergoing anesthesia in the sense that it felt like nothing happened whatsoever. Because no matter how long it takes or how many cycles it takes, at one point, your conscious experience could appear again and it would feel like time never existed and your conscious experience arrives instantaneously. At that point, you would wake up to the first thing you remembered as a child. Is this possible or am I overthinking it?

    • profile image

      Manuel 

      5 months ago

      For sure! I admire those who go outside the mainstream! I'm glad you're one of those people! Great work!

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      5 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Manuel - It might be you with a different consciousness or it might be a different you with the same consciousness. Of it might be neither. Who can say that life even exists in another trial.

      Mainstream? Never said it was. It’s clearly hypothesis. Didn’t you get that?

    • profile image

      Manuel 

      5 months ago

      Very fascinating article!!! But I still wonder as to whether the next cycle will result in a similar experience to what I have right now. Is it more likely that, rather than another "me" existing in the next cycle, it'll just be someone else with my "conscious, first-person experience?'

      You should also know that what you're hypothesizing isn't necessarily mainstream. Some people may even call you crazy. Do you think in time people will start to consider your hypothesis as a possibility?

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      8 months ago from Long Island, NY

      kgb1965 - That’s an interesting thought. It would seem that time is necessary for movement. Did you ever read the book Flatland? If it’s possible to move through two dimensions without knowing of the existence of a third dimension, then we in three dimensions should be able to move without knowing of the fourth dimension—time.

      However, that doesn’t mean that time doesn’t exist. So I agree with you that time may very well be necessary for movement.

      This is why I talked about cyclic time in my article. It always existed, even before and after the Big Bang.

    • profile image

      kgb1965 

      8 months ago

      Interesting article, but I fail to grasp how something that has a material reality (quantum level or what ever, also whether you can detect it or not,) first came to have a material reality. If you have a material reality it also implies time, for without time you (as I understand it), cannot have movement/change. Otherwise, how could the big bang or its equivalent have occurred?

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      8 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Kgb1965 - This article might give you what you’re looking for, something from nothing...

      https://owlcation.com/stem/origin-of-nothingness

    • profile image

      kgb1965 

      8 months ago

      Maybe I missed it, but the theories all seem to relate to something that is already in existence. They do not appear to deal with the issue of something from nothing. As I understand it, before time, matter in terms of a materialistic view, did not exist

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      8 months ago from Long Island, NY

      kgb1965 - See the references I listed at the bottom of the article.

    • profile image

      kgb1965 

      8 months ago

      Where did the matter come from in the first place?

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      13 months ago from Long Island, NY

      lovetherain - That makes a lot of sense – "the universe happens in cycles." When you think about it, everything happens in cycles.

      The Earth cycles around the Sun. Our solar system cycles around our Milky Way galaxy. All the galaxies cycle around a central point–which might have been the point of the big bang.

      Time, itself, may cycle over and over again. That solves the puzzle of what came before the beginning and what occurs after the end.

    • lovetherain profile image

      lovetherain 

      13 months ago from Untited States

      I believe time is cyclical. It also affects us in cycles, like the Precession of the Equinoxes. The cycles affect consciousness at certain nodes. It is much more likely that the universe happens in cycles, rather than a one time beginning. In my opinion. Anyway, nice article.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      19 months ago from Long Island, NY

      MizBejabbers - You understood it well. Scientific American's description is another way to explain it. I glad my explanation gave you a way to visualize it.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      19 months ago from Beautiful South

      Interesting theory. A few years ago, Scientific American (I believe it was that magazine) supported a version of this theory by describing the recurring universe as folding over and over in time like cake batter in a mixer. Then some of the TV shows picked up on it. I could visualize your description as the "cake batter of the universe" folding over and over to recreate itself anew. Notice I didn't use either "recurrence" or "reoccurrence" because I think the fold could create either.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://owlcation.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)