Rehashing old ideas?
ScienceNOW (5 July 2007) – A cosmologist has created a mathematical model that he says shows space-time, contrary to common wisdom, did not begin with the Big Bang. Instead, the model suggests a universe pretty much like the one we live in today existed before the event, except it was contracting instead of expanding. If ever proven, the idea could force a complete rethinking of the origins of the cosmos and perhaps even open a doorway to an endless future…
At the moment of the Big Bang, everything was thought to be crammed into a singularity–a space with no dimensions–that also contained infinite density. Einstein couldn’t explain how such a state could give rise to a universe of finite density and possibly finite dimensions. Theoretical physicist Sean Carroll of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena put it more succinctly: “Everyone’s calculations show the universe started from a singularity,” he says, “but no one believes it.”
Of course, it seems likely that if a model such as this one could once again be resurrected with enough support it would probably be easy for the scientific community to accept. While any other model of the origin of the universe (such as white hole cosmology) would be rejected pretty much out of hand on the grounds that we have so much “evidence” that the Big Bang theory is correct, one that could move the naturalistic community back to the idea of a universe that existed in infinite time would probably be accepted in an instant. After all, the only real way to avoid the idea of a Creator is to believe that all matter has always existed. Ex nihilo creation without a Creator is somewhat difficult to conceive of logically, so the only real alternative I can see for the naturalist is to posit matter and time itself as necessary causes (though even this is difficult to maintain).