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Author Topic:   Can anything exist for an infinite time or outside of time?
Jumped Up Chimpanzee
Member (Idle past 3015 days)
Posts: 572
From: UK
Joined: 10-22-2009


(1)
Message 1 of 158 (555792)
04-15-2010 11:48 AM


If God wasn’t created by anything else and has always existed, as is often suggested, how long did he wait before creating the Universe/Earth/Humans?

Surely if time goes infinitely back, and something had always existed, it would never get to any point in the future. It couldn’t, because it would have to wait for an infinite amount of time to get to any point in the future.

So it seems impossible to me that anything could have always existed. It seems that everything, including time, must have a beginning.

I am aware of the scientific view that it doesn’t even make sense to consider time before the Big Bang, because time started with the Big Bang. And I am aware of the religious counterpoint, that God existed “outside” of time and created time along with the Universe.

But can anything “exist” before time? Does “existence” not require time?

Thoughts?


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AdminSlev
Member (Idle past 2713 days)
Posts: 113
Joined: 03-28-2010


Message 2 of 158 (555840)
04-15-2010 3:45 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee
04-15-2010 11:48 AM


Where do you want this ? Big Bang and cosmology ?

I figure on it depends on what type of answers you want back


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Jumped Up Chimpanzee
Member (Idle past 3015 days)
Posts: 572
From: UK
Joined: 10-22-2009


Message 3 of 158 (555895)
04-16-2010 4:24 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by AdminSlev
04-15-2010 3:45 PM


Good question. I think Big Bang & Cosmology is the most appropriate forum because, although there's a religious aspect to this, I'm really looking for a scientific explanation.
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AdminSlev
Member (Idle past 2713 days)
Posts: 113
Joined: 03-28-2010


Message 4 of 158 (555977)
04-16-2010 3:27 PM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Can anything exist for an infinite time or outside of time? thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 5 of 158 (555982)
04-16-2010 3:50 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee
04-15-2010 11:48 AM


Jumped Up Chimpanzee writes:
But can anything “exist” before time? Does “existence” not require time?

That depends on what the meaning of "exist" is.

Many mathematicians believe that, say, the Pythagorus theorem is an eternal truth that exists outside of time and space.

It would be fair to say that their meaning for "exist" is different from that of ordinary physical existence. If we allow the mathematician to take such liberties with meanings, why not also allow the theist?


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Son Goku
Member (Idle past 37 days)
Posts: 1120
From: Ireland
Joined: 07-16-2005


Message 6 of 158 (555989)
04-16-2010 4:11 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee
04-15-2010 11:48 AM


Infinite time.
Jumped Up Chimpanzee writes:

Surely if time goes infinitely back, and something had always existed, it would never get to any point in the future. It couldn’t, because it would have to wait for an infinite amount of time to get to any point in the future.

So it seems impossible to me that anything could have always existed. It seems that everything, including time, must have a beginning.


Just to answer this question, there is nothing in the current laws of physics to suggest that something can't live arbitrarily long into the future.

As for having an arbitrarily long past, well there is nothing in the laws of physics to suggest that can't happen either. It can't happen in our universe because our universe is not infinitely long in the past direction. However this isn't a logical consequence of General Relativity or Quantum Field Theory, it's just a feature of our universe.

Of course it could be that a later theory of physics will have our universe's finite past as a logical consequence.


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slevesque
Member (Idle past 2713 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 7 of 158 (555995)
04-16-2010 4:28 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Son Goku
04-16-2010 4:11 PM


Re: Infinite time.
I would add however that anything that has an end must have a beginning, because if it is to end, then if it had an infinite past then it would have ended an infinite time ago.

Therefore, if General relativity or Quantum Field Theory tells us that our universe has an end, then it becoems a logical consequence of those theories that it had a finite past.

I also noticed you say ''arbitrarily long past'' instead of infinite, any reason why ?


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Son Goku
Member (Idle past 37 days)
Posts: 1120
From: Ireland
Joined: 07-16-2005


(2)
Message 8 of 158 (556003)
04-16-2010 4:56 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by slevesque
04-16-2010 4:28 PM


Re: Infinite time
slevesque writes:

I would add however that anything that has an end must have a beginning, because if it is to end, then if it had an infinite past then it would have ended an infinite time ago.


That's also not necessarily the case. For instance in General Relativity it is possible for a particle to live forever in the past direction and at some finite time in the future have its "life" end by falling into a black hole. It sounds bizarre though and of course it's can't happen in our universe, but Quantum Field Theory and General Relativity don't logically forbid it.

slevesque writes:

I also noticed you say ''arbitrarily long past'' instead of infinite, any reason why ?


Yes, nicely spotted. Basically because it's a more accurate way of saying what is going on. At any arbitrary point in the past the object still exists, no matter how far in the past you look. This avoids the confusion usually associated with infinity and is basically the mathematical notion used in General Relativity.
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Flyer75
Member (Idle past 496 days)
Posts: 242
From: Dayton, OH
Joined: 02-15-2010


(1)
Message 9 of 158 (556024)
04-16-2010 6:18 PM


Interesting topic chimp. As a believer, no, I don't think anything can exist outside of time, except God. I believe God created time and before that it didn't even exist. How could it? How would we calculate what that time was if God was always in existence?

Now, how would this apply to evolution (if I assumed the big bang were true). What was time before the event??? Did it exist or did the Big Bang "create" time?

Also, I tend to agree with slev's post. For something to fit into time, it would technically have to have a beginning and an end. Would the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics have anything to say about this for those who know more about it then I do?


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onifre
Member (Idle past 1024 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


(1)
Message 10 of 158 (556046)
04-16-2010 8:49 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee
04-15-2010 11:48 AM


But can anything “exist” before time? Does “existence” not require time?

Time is a unit of measuring, time requires humans. It would be like asking, does space require length, width and height? These are things used to measure space, not space itself.

Time is used to measure the interval between two events. The problem IMHO with your question is, the alternative to "exist" is a meaningless concept. There is only existence, nothingness is not definable.


This message is a reply to:
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DC85
Member (Idle past 404 days)
Posts: 875
From: Richmond, Virginia USA
Joined: 05-06-2003


Message 11 of 158 (556048)
04-16-2010 10:00 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Flyer75
04-16-2010 6:18 PM


no, I don't think anything can exist outside of time, except God
why is God immune to the "logic"?
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cavediver
Member (Idle past 1716 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 12 of 158 (556087)
04-17-2010 7:50 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by slevesque
04-16-2010 4:28 PM


Re: Infinite time.
I would add however that anything that has an end must have a beginning, because if it is to end, then if it had an infinite past then it would have ended an infinite time ago.

No, not true. (related to Son Goku's answer) There is no universal parameter of time in any of our current theories of physics. In other words, there is no great clock in the sky ticking away moments of time, such that our own individual "now" is carried along by this clock's own time.

The only "passage of time" that occurs in physics is that of our own awareness, and there is actually nothing to align all of these individual clocks other than convention (this takes us into some very interesting areas on the question of awareness and physics.)

So to sum up - as far as we know, an awareness simply sees passage of time in the region of the Universe where that awareness is located. The Universe could be temporally infinite, semi-infinite (in either direction) or finite, and this would make no difference to how an awareness perceives time.


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cavediver
Member (Idle past 1716 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 13 of 158 (556089)
04-17-2010 7:52 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee
04-15-2010 11:48 AM


Hi Chimp, please see my previous post for my reply.
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Buzsaw
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 14 of 158 (556095)
04-17-2010 8:30 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Flyer75
04-16-2010 6:18 PM


The Universe A Perpetual Machine
Flyer75 writes:

As a believer, no, I don't think anything can exist outside of time, except God. I believe God created time and before that it didn't even exist. How could it? How would we calculate what that time was if God was always in existence?
Now, how would this apply to evolution (if I assumed the big bang were true). What was time before the event??? Did it exist or did the Big Bang "create" time?

Also, I tend to agree with slev's post. For something to fit into time, it would technically have to have a beginning and an end. Would the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics have anything to say about this for those who know more about it then I do?

Hi Flyer. As a believer and an ardent student of the Bible, I believe that according to the Bible, Jehovah, the Biblical god has eternally existed in the cosmos/heavens. Therefore, the universe is essentially a perpetual machine where God has been creating, destroying and managing things in the universe to suit his purpose and pleasure.

Imo, this makes a lot more sense as per the LoTs and since the BB obviously had no time in which to happen, no space existing to happen in and no outside of in which to expand.


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.
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Jumped Up Chimpanzee
Member (Idle past 3015 days)
Posts: 572
From: UK
Joined: 10-22-2009


Message 15 of 158 (556103)
04-17-2010 9:37 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by onifre
04-16-2010 8:49 PM


Time is used to measure the interval between two events. The problem IMHO with your question is, the alternative to "exist" is a meaningless concept. There is only existence, nothingness is not definable.

I see what you mean, and so in my opinion no intelligent entitiy (aka God) could exist before time - and therefore could not create time.

However, are you or anyone else aware if there is anything (even if only in theory) that can "exist" that is truly inert (i.e. it has no energy, no radiation, etc). If there were such a thing, presumably it would "exist" without time, as there would be no events occuring that could be measured.

Edited by Jumped Up Chimpanzee, : No reason given.


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