After being involved in several discussions on social media about the creation of the universe, I decided to jot down a few ideas about this challenging question: how was our universe formed? This text is based on discussions with several people, and it is by no means comprehensive.
Science has shown that the universe was formed about 14 billion years ago through the Big Bang. But what does the space look like into which our universe is expanding? This is an incorrect assumption. In fact, during the Big Bang, space and time were created. That means that space was infinitely small at that time point. Since then, space is expanding, but not into a ‘room’ that already existed. This also means that our universe originated where you are now… in fact: it originated everywhere. This is completely opposed to “common sense”, but one of the cornerstones for understanding the universe.
Do multiple universes exist? First of all, the universe (as the name suggests) means EVERYTHING (the observable Universe, with a radius of 46.5 billion light-years, probably contains 200 billion galaxies, each with an average of 100 million of stars). To describe how this universe came into being, astrophysicists create models and formulas. And based on those mathematical models (which are universally applicable), it cannot be excluded that an endless number of other universes exist in parallel. There could even be a variant of you in another universe – walking around with a tail. However, these are mathematical models. We can’t see those universes. We can’t look beyond our own space and our own time, so this is all hypothetical. We can only be sure that our own universe exists.
What existed before the Big Bang? We can not see these hypothetical multiverses, and likewise, we can also not see what happened before the Big Bang, since time and space came into existence with the Big Bang. Any hypothesis about what happened before the Big Bang or what caused it is speculation or fantasy (and in some cases religion). As Stephen Hawking indicated (and I hope I recap that correctly), the question is senseless, as we can only see or model our own universe. We can’t make any statements beyond what can be observed.
But the universe must have been created by something? Personally, I think it’s the wrong question to ask. As human beings, we are locked in cultures where everything must have cause and effect, and everything has linearity. As an example, from our perspective, time flows very regularly, but Einstein showed that speed and gravity will make time run slower. This seems senseless, as we can’t observe this (in our daily lives). We tend to believe in cause and effect; that only nothing comes from nothing. But this may well be a meme in our society or culture… the human brain always wants to find patterns, reasons… but perhaps some things happen without a cause? The question seems to be dictated by our culture. Perhaps this question is comparable to: “what is the sound of the smell of the number 7?” To some (esoteric) people, this question may be logical, to the rest of us it doesn’t make any sense. Any suggestion for what caused our universe to come into existence doesn’t resolve the question of its origin. It could for instance be a goddess, or another, bigger “universe” or whatever. But this fantasy entity (we can’t detect / see it) must then have been created too. Thus, this only adds an additional layer of complexity to the discussion. The truth of the matter is that you exist, and all the rest and the entire universe exist too. What can’t be observed “isn’t”, whereas the universe “is”. If non-existence would be the normal state of the universe, you wouldn’t be here.
Disclaimer: I am a scientist, but not an astrophysicist, so corrections are welcome. Here you can read about the theory of whether Our Life is Nothing More Than a Big Computer Simulation and here about the question Will Humanity Survive Forever? Thoughts about the Evolution of our Species
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Originally posted 2022-04-03 07:36:29.