It’s very interesting and thaught me a lot. The question comes up to the end whether or not the Universe had states of “compression” and then rapid expansion. Theoretically it is possible with an infinite universe. Now the the creator of the video only suggests that this explanation is not scientifically ruled out, and could be a possibility.
Could this Universe have been eternal? And if it was, how does it fit into Christian Theology?
IMHO, if the universe was ever eternal and infinite surely it would take forever to then ‘compress’? Same goes for compressed state to infinite state. In such a scenario there is another fly in the ointment - that of entropy.
That’s only 1 theory proposed by scientists who don’t want to consider the possibility that the universe had a beginning. Other scientists have differing views (see Alexander Vilenkin’s refutation of those theories here youtube.com/watch?v=NXCQelhKJ7A) The thing is, they don’t know. Even in the video you linked to he says “something happened” to make the universe start expanding, and of course he still doesn’t have an explanation for the singularity that the universe expanded from. Of course we know the “something” was God.
Even if the universe extended infinitely in time and space, it would nevertheless be limited… to time and space. God is not bound within time and space. It might be accurate to say God is “outside” or “beyond” time and space as we know it. So I believe there is no theological problem if God were to create a universe that had an infinite timeline and/or infinite spatial extent. Physics problems, maybe (Mount Carmel mentioned entropy; even stars don’t last forever), but not a theological problem.
St. Thomas taught that the arguments in favor of a finite universe were less forceful than the arguments in favor of an eternal universe. That is why the Church has solemnly defined the fact that the universe had an absolute beginning, that it was created by God, whole and entire, out of nothing in time.
I will preface this with letting you know that I was an undergrad in astrophysics for 3 years but I switched to just Phys this year.
What are your motivations for having a eternal universe? If I am to take that you believe scientific models I would say that your question is phrased wrongly.
First I would say that only God is eternal. Then I would say the bible missed a lot of details that are not important for faith; in condensing about 14 billion years into a few paragraphs there can be many interpretations that will change with our understanding of the universe and how it works. We are currently in a expanding universe but in addition to this it is also accelerating. Deflation models are not very likely. M-theory (magic theory) is one of a few popular models for the “Big Bang” I like it at least.
To answer your question; no the universe is not eternal. Unless you have a claim that God was the universe before the rest of the universe was created. Which just is a weird way of thinking of the universe. In 10^100 years this universe will be dark and for all purposes gone unless God affects it somehow. Science should never affect thoelogy nor could it really. Theology might try to affect science.
To be clearer, I’m not arguing in favor of the Eternal Universe. I was just asking if it was a possibility. Now another question I had was that the “everywhere stretch” referenced in the video stated that everything was compressed together into a small space in a very hot and dense Universe. Doesn’t this suggest that there was something before the Big Bang?
I’m sorry if I’m being ignorant. I just want to learn as much as possible on this topic. If I’m wrong could someone please enlighten me?
If everything was compressed at the big bang then there would be no matter or space-time outside of that point. What there was before the big bang was a place without time or space or matter. The transition between that place and the beginning of our universe must have seen the creation of elemental abstract concepts, like the concept of direction. So the place just before the big bang was a place of formation of ideas and at the big bang those abstract ideas were twisted into physical 3-dimensional form. My ideas, anyway.
As far as science is concerned, this has not been demonstrated and I don’t see how it could ever be demonstrated. And we have no way and will have no way of learning what existed prior the the " Big Bang. " But as I said, the Church has solemnly declared that the universe is not eternal.
That is not correct, the laws that govern the functioning of the Universe do not exist unless the Universe itself exist.
Laws are descriptive formulas that explain the reality. Therefore if the Universe was different from the one we live in, the laws would have to be congruent with that version of the Universe.
A singularity from which the Univese was created, does not possess space (the 3 dimensions we move about), matter or energy.
The laws that describe our Universe are meaningless to the singularity. Them (the laws) came into existance exactly at the same instant the Universe was created. And by extension IF the Universe was to implode into the singularity again, them (the laws) would cease to exist, since the Universe to which them applied to, had ceased to exist.