Big bang as ‘the end of the story’
One of the questions that most interests me is … if the universe was created with a big bang, what the fuck came before the big bang? This question is reflected in an old joke shared by philosophers…
A universe enters a bar and orders a Jack Daniels. The barman looks at the universe, surprised, and says…”Fuck me, where did you come from?”. The universe says “a singularity” and the barman says, “oh… do you want ice with the Jack Daniels?”
This joke may not make you laugh until your stomach hurts but it does show, as in the case of the barman, most people’s lack of amazement at the origins of the universe. The fact that the universe and the big bang came from what physicists call – ‘a singularity’ – a small dot the size of a grape (una uva) of infinite mass, is both difficult to believe and not very exciting. But for me, the singularity theory is also problematic because it’s an unsatisfactory explanation for the beginnings of our universe.
You see, cosmologists say that my question about ‘before the big bang’ is invalid because there was no ‘before the big bang’ because time – and things like ‘before and after’ – weren’t created until the big bang.
This just doesn’t make sense. Clearly, the big bang exploded at a moment in history we’ll call zero o’ clock. And scientists say that before zero o’ clock the universe was a singularity. Call me stupid but that sounds like a clear-cut case of before and after. If cosmologists deny the existence of a chronology before the big bang then they are basically saying that God exists. Why? Because the singularity cannot just have popped into existence… furthermore… time is motion… how could the singularity have exploded if it was some frozen nothing hanging there for eternity? The singularity must have had some form of motion for it to explode.
Scientists, therefore, have not explained the origins of the universe. They have only explained the origins of the big bang,,, because for me the current theory leads to a simple question: if the universe came from a singularity… where the hell did the singularity come from? That is the true question about the origins of the universe.
Fortunately, I’m not alone in this question and an increasing number of scientists are now starting to ask the same question.
Their answers can be grouped together in a set of theories commonly known as… the multiverse. Isn’t that a great word, people… the multiverse. Anyway, the theory of the multiverse states that our universe is just one of many universes, and that’s where the singularity came from. There are many different ideas about the multiverse but basically it’s this huge amorphous squishy, spongey bubble thing that…squeezes out universes: our own being one of them – and like the rest – caught in an eternal cycle of expansion and contraction.
First of all, I would like to thank scientists for moving beyond the singularity theory and not saying that bullshit about time not existing before the big bang and that all speculation about a pre-bang era is invalid. I thank them, and I am also truly amazed at this new theory for the origin of everything…
…but… …and it’s a big but…
…Aren’t we still stuck with the same question as before but now with different elements? Namely, if everything came from the big bang, and the big bang came from a singularity, and the singularity came from the multiverse, then… where the fuck did the multiverse come from? Who created the sponge… was it made in China… did it come from Walmart… who, or what, created the multiverse?
I hope you understand my logic and sympathize with it. And I also hope that you see the real question of the origins of everything… it’s not the origins of the big bang or the singularity or the multiverse, it is… what is the origins of matter itself?
You see, whether matter is in the form of the universe, or a singularity in a state of infinite density, or a multiverse – it’s still… all… matter; and the true origins of everything will only occur when we trace back matter to its beginnings. If such a thing is possible.
When I say – ‘if such a thing is possible’ I don’t just mean whether it’s possible to trace back the origins of matter to its birth, I mean – does such a question have any meaning? Is it possible that matter is eternal, that it’s always existed, and is that possible for something to always have existed? And it is here that we enter not just metaphysics but human psychology – because you have to start asking yourself as you go back and back – desperately searching for the point where it all began… is the question I’m asking just a very human question which is out of sync with the universe? In other words: is it just because my simple human brain only understands brutally simple concepts like… beginning and end… that the question seems relevant. Isn’t it entirely possible that we are just not capable of comprehending something like matter or how it was made?
No, is my simple answer to that. The way I see it, if it’s possible that all the matter of the universe was packed into a fucking grape… then it’s possible that the answer to the universe could be packed into a human mind. Unfortunately, though, my own mind, eroded by drink and its default setting of average intelligence, isn’t going to be the one that makes this leap.
And anyway, I think the real question – when we look for the origins of matter is really another question… is there a God? Does matter stretch back to a moment of creation initiated and occasioned by God? And really, is our entire search for the origins of the universe… really just a deep need to search for God.
And that, my friends, is the subject of another podcast. And that my friend is the end of series 1. It has been an honor and a privilege to talk to you. Good bye.
A singularity: the opposite of a multiplicity. Something that is entirely concentrated in one spot.
Dot: a spot. Un grano o punto.
Infinite mass: an incomprehensible concept of cosmologists. Something with a mass that is infinite. Una masa inifinita.
Have popped into existence: to pop into existence is to appear suddenly.
States: dice, declara. ‘States’ is like an official form of ‘to say something.’
Squishy, spongey bubble thing that…squeezes out universes: a series of words related to soft, squeezy things. Bubble – burbuja. Spongey – como una esponja. Squeeze – exprime.
Bullshit: Lies. Mentiras. Nonsense. Tonterias.
Era. Epoca. A specific period of time.
Sympathize: to understand why someone does, feels or believes in something.
Matter: everything that is physical is ‘matter.’ Materia.
Density: a scientific word for the thickness of something. La densidad.
Trace: to find, to investigate, to hunt down, to locate the origins or position of.
Metaphysics: literally, ‘above physics.’ A branch of philosophy that deals with everything that cannot be decided or proven scientifically.
Out of sync: not synchronized with. Irregular.
Eroded: worn away. Desgastado. Erosianodo.
Default setting: the natural state of a person or machine.
Stretch back: to go all the way back (in time).
That makes this leap: a ‘leap’ is a jump.