Time Zero


February 20, 2005


            Singularity. The universe cannot have been created, intelligently or otherwise, because of singularity. Time zero cannot have existed. If it did, it would have to be as a transfer of energy to matter. As there is no explanation for where that energy came from, there can be no beginning to the universe. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can become matter, and vice versa, but that’s it.

            Action and reaction. The Big Bang theory explains the known facts, but does not account for time zero or the law of action and reaction. In order for something to happen, something else has to happen.

            (Dammit, I’m losing the thread of this! I need my father! I know what I mean, and what I think, but I don’t have the vocabulary to explain it, even to myself.)

            I like the Oscillating Universe Theory, because it does not require energy or matter to spontaneously appear. As mortal beings with both a beginning and an end, we desire our universe to have these qualities as well. Thus the myth of a “creator” holds great appeal, because it gives the universe a time of birth. A mortal mind cannot conceive of the idea ‘forever’ simply because we are aware of our own time zero. Infinity is beyond the imagining of the finite.

            I can equate the Oscillating Universe with a rubber ball bouncing on a hard surface. When the ball reaches its apex, where momentum and gravity are equalized, it must succumb to gravity and fall back down. If we remove friction, this ball could conceivably bounce forever. Of course, if one so desired, one could ask when this ball started bouncing, but that is once again our desire to locate and define a time zero. However, one could also view the universe as an infinite perpetual motion machine. There was no time zero. As difficult as it is, even for me, to wrap my mind around such an idea, I can understand why this is so hard for anyone else. Let there be a beginning, the mind wants to say, and let there be an end. The impossibility of this is that there cannot be a beginning, according to the laws of physics.

            (I feel like I’m trying to take apart the entire complexity of the universe with a bent paper clip.)

            The origins of the species can be traced and even understood. The origins of life on this planet can be sought and eventually found. But the origins of the universe can never be defined, because they cannot exist.

Cindy Jo


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