Infinite Eternal Recurrence of the Universe

Updated on November 5, 2017
Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok has a Master of Science degree and 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?


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, United Kingdom
Stephen Hawking - Born January 8, 1942 in Oxford, United Kingdom | 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 hypotheses. 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. In a prior article I had discussed why our human brain couldn’t conceive 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.

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

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

In the title of this article I refer to the Universe with Eternal Recurrence.2 I felt it’s important to clarify the meaning of two terms, both of which relate to my discussion.

  • 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.

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.

The following 25-minute video covers this subject and explains how some scientists are theorizing that they discovered God must have created the one-time universe. However, you’ll notice that it leaves out my theory of infinite repetitions, which (if you got my point) increases the likelihood of the life-supporting universe we know and love.


Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Glenn Stok


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      • Glenn Stok profile image

        Glenn Stok 4 weeks 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.

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        kgb1965 4 weeks 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?

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        Glenn Stok 4 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

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

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        kgb1965 4 weeks 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

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        Glenn Stok 4 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

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

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        kgb1965 4 weeks ago

        Where did the matter come from in the first place?

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        Glenn Stok 6 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 6 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.

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        Glenn Stok 12 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 12 months ago

        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.