Tag: Before the Big Bang

All in the meaning, postscript!

Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it.

The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be.

Being alive is the meaning.

On the 28th March I wrote what I thought was a concluding piece on the subject of ‘meaning’.  I used some of the most amazing details about the universe to highlight the fact that, in the end, if our civilisation doesn’t get it’s collective act together then from the perspective of the universe it is all pretty irrelevant.  In that piece I quoted from Prof. Brian Cox, “Everything we are, everything that’s ever been and everything that will ever be was all forged in the same moment of creation 13.7bn years ago from an unimaginably hot and dense volume of matter less than the size of an atom.

Now, in fairness, Prof. Cox did allude to scientists exploring the notion of what might have happened before the Big Bang.  Anyway, a couple of nights ago we watched a BBC Horizon programme, now on YouTube, that looked much more closely into this fascinating topic.  The link came to us from the website Top Documentary Films that set out the introduction to the BBC programme.

They are the biggest questions that science can possibly ask: where did everything in our universe come from? How did it all begin? For nearly a hundred years, we thought we had the answer: a big bang some 14 billion years ago.

But now some scientists believe that was not really the beginning. Our universe may have had a life before this violent moment of creation.

Horizon takes the ultimate trip into the unknown, to explore a dizzying world of cosmic bounces, rips and multiple universes, and finds out what happened before the big bang.

Neil Turok, Director of Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Canada, working with Paul Steinhardt at Princeton, has proposed a radical new answer to cosmology’s deepest question: What banged?

Answer: Instead of the universe inexplicably springing into existence from a mysteriousinitial singularity, the Big Bang was a collision between two universes like ours existing as parallel membranes floating in a higher-dimensional space that we’re not aware of.

One bang is followed by another, in a potentially endless series of cosmic cycles, each one spelling the end of a universe and the beginning of a new one. Not one bang, but many.

Sir Roger Penrose has changed his mind about the Big Bang. He now imagines an eternal cycle of expanding universes where matter becomes energy and back again in the birth of new universes and so on and so on.

Here’s that programme.  Enjoy!