Fandango’s Provocative Question #178


Timey Wimey

Fandango’s question this week was borrowed from Rory who some may remember from “A Guy Called Bloke”. It was one of a series of questions on his new blog “Earthly Comforts”.

When did time actually begin?

When I first read this question, I started to think about the age of the Earth, but that’s another question that can be answered in more than one way depending on your belief system. Earth is not the oldest thing in the universe so obviously time began before that.

The simple answer, for me anyway, is I don’t know.

However, we’re not going to get much of a post out of that are we?

Photo by Andrey Grushnikov on Pexels.com

When I googled the subject the first thing that came up was something from a site called Answers from Genesis. I have to admit that I didn’t even go and look. I used to know some Creationists and while they were very nice people, they could not convince me that God created the Earth in seven days. I have to look for a scientific answer.

The next one that comes up is The Big Bang Theory (not the TV show). The idea is that before the Big Bang there was no time because that event created time. I have no idea how we know this for a fact.

I also read of another theory known as The Big Bounce. I found the following unsourced quotation on Wikipedia. I am not going to even pretend that I understand it.

The concept of the Big Bounce envisions the Big Bang as the beginning of a period of expansion that followed a period of contraction. In this view, one could talk of a Big Crunch followed by a Big Bang, or more simply, a Big Bounce. This suggests that we could be living at any point in an infinite sequence of universes, or conversely the current universe could be the very first iteration. However, if the condition of the interval phase “between bounces”, considered the ‘hypothesis of the primeval atom’, is taken into full contingency such enumeration may be meaningless because that condition could represent a singularity in time at each instance, if such perpetual return was absolute and undifferentiated.

The main idea behind the quantum theory of a Big Bounce is that, as density approaches infinity, the behavior of the quantum foam changes. All the so-called fundamental physical constants, including the speed of light in a vacuum, need not remain constant during a Big Crunch, especially in the time interval smaller than that in which measurement may never be possible (one unit of Planck time, roughly 10−43 seconds) spanning or bracketing the point of inflection.

Wikipedia

Well, I am really none the wiser after all that. I just think that if time is infinite then it can’t really have a beginning or an end. Perhaps time is like a Mobius Strip. This is the sort of thing that makes time travel stories so fascinating even though they are hard to understand. Nearly all my favourite sci fi shows feature some time travel. Doctor Who of course but episodes of Star Trek, Eureka and The Orville have all had time travel stories and of course we must not forget The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.

Marvin from the TV series Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Reference:

https://www.thenakedscientists.com/articles/interviews/when-did-time-begin

Taswegian1957

I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.

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