In some ways the birth of our universe could be compared to the lighting of a candle, the “Big Bang” was when it was first lit. With this now burning wick, entropy increases, the once stagnant unaltered order/state of the wick and candle’s pristine structure begins to diminish as time passes. So begins the gradual decline into total disorder. Total disorder being the incineration of the wick, the form of the candle being lost, and equilibrium is achieved. The energy (wherever it came from) has been transferred, converted, but for all intents and purposes, it is gone (a process is deemed ‘irreversible’ if dissipation occurs, which in most instances, it does). As the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics states, in all processes that occur (including spontaneous) the entropy at least in regards to thermodynamics, is irreversible.
So just as the flickering flame of the candle will at some stage burn out, so too, as theorized by some, could/will our universe reach its equilibrium and enter a phase known as “total heat death”. In this outcome of achieved equilibrium everything in the entire universe would be the same temperature. The height of entropy, total disorder, no transference of energy or structure. No rhyme or reason. Just stagnate remaining mass, moving unpredictably in an eternity of darkness.
Entropy is intrinsically linked with the Arrow of Time (in physics). Coined by the British astronomer Arthur Eddington. Eddington gave three factors regarding, the arrow of time:
⦿ It is vividly recognized by consciousness.
⦿ It is equally insisted on by our reasoning faculty, which tells us that a reversal of the arrow would render the external world nonsensical.
⦿ It makes no appearance in physical science except in the study of organization of a number of individuals.
These three factors pertaining to the arrow of time are extremely localized around human perception.
In a way, time going in one direction only → relies on the basis that nothing ever happens/happened after theoretical “total heat death”. Because if something did occur (which it is theorized to be nigh impossible), then we could readdress the definition of the direction of time. As the system of the universe is no longer irreversible. For instance, after total heat death, a gradual pooling of mass begins to occur. Taking billions and billions and billions (times infinity, why not) years, so much mass could be drawn together that a high-density and (and even less likely) high-temperature state is reached. In that scenario, could the “Big Bang” occur again? Could that be the process that occurs over and over and over? If that were possible, the process of our universe’s creation could be deemed reversible. Rendering time no longer linear, but cyclic and infinite.
Meaning time isn’t a straight arrow → pointing in one direction, but rather a circle ↻ that always returns to a structured state, a starting position. In a process larger than we could ever hope to imagine.
If that wasn’t as extremely far-fetched and hypothetically scientifically offensive for you to consider, then consider this, what if everything forms, exactly the same, every single time the universe goes through this cycle? (There are some that argue that there is no such thing as a truly random outcome of events. It merely appears that way to our understanding, as we cannot perceive what is going on at the most finite level.)
As it stands, our current time traveling abilities are extremely limited. We have access to such a tiny portion. At best, around 100 years. We’ve mastered travelling forward through time. We’re doing it right now. As your eyes trail over this text, the words previously read give an indication that you are progressively moving forward.
But consider this science-fiction scenario:
The adult son of two prominently known archeologists (by some extraordinary hypothetical means) manages to momentarily travel back in time, some 145 million years, for a total duration of 15 seconds. He travels to a region somewhere in North America, during the Cretaceous period. Where his brief appearance momentarily distracts a pack of deinonychus (the 100kg version of the 15kg velociraptor) from noticing a tenontosaurus in the distance, prey they would have otherwise eaten. Thus, eliminating the specific archeological dig site where his parents first met. Subsequently, either, eliminating himself from existence, creating an alternate reality. Or whatever other scenario someone might imagine.
One of the many problems with this hypothetical scenario is that small, minuscule detail skimmed over at the beginning. The act of travelling backwards in time. It’s virtually impossible to imagine a means by which anyone could travel backwards through a process while entropy is taking place.
Unless, a being was somehow capable of making itself entirely independent from the process (the universe reaching equilibrium). In which case, according to the theories suggested (total pseudo-science, if that wasn’t obvious already), the way to travel backward in time could be to actually go so far forward, that you catch the past as it occurs again for the first time, in one of the next formations of the universe.
Perhaps beings beyond our comprehensible universe have been aware of this cyclic order of things longer than we even have words to describe what we call “time”?
Could God himself be a being who discovered how to isolate himself from the process? Or perhaps his ability to escape the process is innate?
If extraterrestrial life does have an interest in our planet, could it be monitoring the formations of this universe each cycle? Comparing our status with last time and the time before that? Eternally making comparisons to previous visits. Maybe they require things that occur so rarely, they come to a specific point each cycle to gather a valuable resource.
These theories are just a handful of many theories that are more than likely, all completely wrong (like most theories). But, it’s still intriguing (for some) to entertain the thought. Maybe we’ll never truly understand the mysteries of the universe, maybe next time around?
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