Monday, November 28, 2005

The beginning and end of time

If time had a beginning would it have to have an end, and if it has an end would it have to have a beginning?
It seems like if it has an end, it would have to have a beginning. It would be strange for time to just being going along and end all of a sudden. It does seem like it could possibly have a beginning with no end to me though. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?

12 Comments:

Blogger The Hulk said...

I think that time could have an end without a beginning. According to some theories, at some point our universe will stop expanding and start to contract on itself. Once we contract enough a reverse big bang will happen and there will be nothing left in the universe. Thus assuming that we are the only universe, time would cease because there would no longer bre first order change. I think all possibilites could work also, but that's my favorite scenario.

7:00 PM  
Blogger frankd23 said...

In response to the Hulk's comment, there are also theories that the universe is in a cycle of expanding and contracting upon itself infinately many times. Thus, the collapse of the universe doesnt necessarily have to mean the end of time. Also, i would think the big bang would have to be the beginning of time in the case your considering since that would essentially be the same conditions as the collapse that brought about the end of time. If one big mass with no change is the end of time then wouldnt one big mass that begins change be the beginning of time?

8:10 PM  
Blogger PVMunchy said...

Frank seems to have understood what i was trying to get at. I was just wondering if there are ay theories that say that there was no beginning of time and there will be an end of time. The other two ways seem to make more sense to me. The hulk's big bang/reverse big bang theory seems to have both a beginning and end of time.

5:37 AM  
Blogger stet200 said...

On one level I agree with PVmunchy and Frank. As discussed in class, the end or beginning of the universe does not signify a beginning or end of time. But in terms of the first question, whether time can have no beginning and have an end, I say that it can't. Take a look at this modified extracted argument from Le Poidevin. Say point P is in the present and represents a last member of time. If time did not have a beginning then it would be infinately expanded in one direction with respect to point P. If point P is in the present then it must,as defined by Le Poidevin, has to have a past and a present. But if it is the last member of the infinite series it only has a past. Therefore, no matter where point P is it cannot be the last member of time. So if you have this infinite series, time with no beginning, then you will not have an end.

7:03 AM  
Blogger Kermit said...

I think that if time has a beginning, it must have an end and vice versa. If space has an end, it seems logical that it would have a beginning because it probably isn't extending infinately in just one direction. This doesn't necessarily apply to time as well, but sometimes the two are comparable. It would seem kind of contradictary if time continued forever in one direction and not the other. That is why the theory about the universe continually expanding and contracting makes sense, because the time is doing the same thing in both directions.

2:26 PM  
Blogger stet200 said...

Why do you think that it would not make since that time would be infinately in one direction and end? Think about it this way. If time is needed to have a change, and to begin time there had to be a change. If there was no time for the creation of time or beginning, then time would have not been created. Therefore, you need time to create time, so time would have to be infinitly spanned in the direction of the past. So what came from all of that is that time takes time to create therefore it would be an infinite series in the direction of the past. The only argument against this would be if time started at an instant i guess. But i have yet to find a really convincing argument for that. The reason for just saying that there could be an end of time is that we really have no evidence that there is no end of time, or that there is. So which means it "could possibly" happen. I am going to try to find another argument that supports that there is no end but there could be and beginning. Has anyone esle seen one?

4:08 PM  
Blogger Darron said...

I don't quite know if time could have an end or not. I think that if time has a beginning then it should be possible that time have an end too but the only issue I have with that theory is that even if nothing was left in the universe, why couldn't time just keep on going on? I guess if time was independent of change, time could theoretically go on without their being a universe. But I believe in relationism about space and time and feel that time is dependent of change and yet I still believe that it is quite possible for time to go on if nothing was left in the universe. So it quite puzzles me.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Significant Digits said...

There are basically three views of time's ends:
1) Beginning and end: the Big Bang and Big Crunch are these endpoints
2) No beginning and no end: This is string theory, basically, the idea of multiple universes bumping into each other, creating another universe for a while, but this comes undone in a Big Crunch, so that it is an endless cycle.
3) Beginning with no end: Some initial change that can't be undone.

I ascribe to the third theory, because the Big Crunch isn't a satisfying theory. And to have set the universe in the motion that it's in, there had to be some initial change, because of the laws of inertia. But to end time, it would take a sizable opposing force. It's also because of inertia that time could have an end but not have a beginning. There had to be a beginning of time. It's physically impossible to explain the universe without an initial change that began time. The question is, because of inertia, what caused that change, and why?

11:40 AM  
Blogger Hawaii said...

I personally ascribe to a "no end, but have a beginning" idea.

However, this is mostly for scientific reasons. I think that if I analyzed it philosophically I'd find that things weren't what they seemed.

Anyway, I think that the big bang does constitute a beginning of time. This is due to the fact that if you place the beginning of time and the universe at the same point, we avoid reasonable cause arguments.

The end of time will never come because even when all matter ceases to exist - I liked one theory about how all matter will eventually be condensed in blackholes. This will eventually be thrown out as energy into the universe. - time will still continue because energy can change. It will simply try to evenly distribute itself around the universe. I assume this means an outward flow from the center into an infinitely vast body of space.

12:10 PM  
Blogger ewolf335 said...

i think that neither can occur without the other. if time has a beginning which i believe it does, it must have an end. also, i agree with franks reply about the collapse of the universe not being equivalent to the end of time. the universe would keep collapsing but only to a point where we can't comprehend it so we say time ended. a reverse big bang would keep going in the opposite directon of the big bang. the thing is, scientists dont know what started the universe, the big bang, or the thing which started the thing to cause the big bang and so on. so if this is true,one can say the reverse big bang would work in this way so time doesnt really end.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Gozz said...

I believe that time had a beginning with the big bang. I also believe that time and space are related in that as space expanse time is created. If the universe is still expanding that would mean space is expanding so time would have a beginning and ending at this point.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Farstar said...

The universe started with a tiny explosion that slowly got bigger and bigger until it finally got to where it is today. It is strongly believed to evantually stop and contract into nothing but the truth is, it will never stop. The universe has been proven to keep expanding until it pulls apart. In about 100 billion years or so, the universe and everything in it will disappear in the flash of light.

12:29 AM  

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