Big Bang or Cyclical Universe? Why not both!

My blog has mostly been about spiritual growth & stuff. But as a theosophist part of my interest is in science and cosmology as well. So when one of my theosophical friends shared this article from Edge about a cyclical universe – I  thought I had to break my recent pattern. This is an interview with a theoretical physicist – you know, that breed is the creme de la creme of cosmology.

He summarizes his theory (in laymen terms) as follows:

Burt, Paul and I began to study this process of the collision of the branes carefully. We realized that, if it worked, this idea would imply that the Big Bang was not the beginning of time but, rather, a perfectly describable physical event.  We also realized this might have many implications, if it were true. For example, not only could we explain the Bang, we could explain the production of radiation which fills the universe, because there was a previous existing universe, within which these two branes were moving. And what explained that, you might ask? That’s where the cyclic model came in. The cyclic model emerged from the idea that each Bang was followed by another, and that this could go on for eternity. The whole universe might have existed forever, and there would have been a series of these Bangs, stretching back into the infinite past, and into the infinite future.

In the interview he says that he had worked with Stephen Hawking. The main problem with Hawking’s work is that when you start with nothing, you will generally end up with nothing. In other words: it’s very hard to make the math work to support a Big Bang that is a creation out of nothing. Sounds Biblical doesn’t it? So Neil Turok instead did more mathematical research & figured out a cosmology that takes the data into account. The result: time was not created in the Big Bang, so there was a ‘before’ – and there are in fact big bangs after big bangs.

In old fashioned religious terms: he came right back to the cyclical vision of the cosmos. This way of looking at things was part of Greek philosophy and also of Indian Philosophy. Blavatsky too wrote in terms of ‘days and nights of Brahman‘. Blavatsky notes in The Secret Doctrine that days and nights of Brahman are endless: there never being a first, nor a last.

I think this is one more example of the importance of not letting logic run away with us. It’s very easy to come to the wrong conclusions, when facts are ignored. Start with the proper facts – matter (or energy) is eternal for instance – and you end up with totally different conclusions. It’s always gratifying when Blavatsky turns out to be right 🙂

2 thoughts on “Big Bang or Cyclical Universe? Why not both!”

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  2. Hi Katinka, as always, I’m with you on this one. Both the Creationists and those that believe that time began with the Big Bang face an inconsolable philosophical problem in dealing with the nature of Infinity. Of course time and space don’t actually exist, but the easiest way to intellectually consider this problem is to consider Infinite time and space. Of course there can be no real beginning, and no real end, therefore a cyclical existence comes as close as possible to solving this problem intellectually. I imagine though that the best understanding of this question only comes with Self-Realization.
    Keep up the great writing,
    God Bless,
    Hari Om,

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