The Science of Existence (5) Cyclic Cosmology


Regardless of age, how our cosmos can come into being remains a central question. Cyclic cosmology is apt, and entirely fits the facts.

Cyclic Cosmology

This world, which is the same for all, not one gods nor men has made. It always was and will be: an ever-living fire, with measures of it kindling, and measures going out. ~ Turkish Greek philosopher Heraclitus (535–475 bce)

Like Anaximander, Heraclitus conceived Nature in an incessant, eternal cycle of creation. This idea has reappeared throughout history. Ancient Andeans believed that the cosmos periodically disintegrated and reconstituted.

All things began in order, so shall they end, and so shall they begin again, according to the ordainer of order and the mystical mathematics of the city of heaven. ~ 17th century English author Thomas Browne

The cyclic model proposes that the existing universe is an expanding bounce from a previous cosmic contraction. Unlike the Big Bang of the standard cosmological model, the cyclic model accords well with known quantum effects and modern physics’ models.

This is the latest stage in an eternal cycle of expansion, collapse and renewed expansion. ~ American theoretical cosmologist and physicist Michael Turner

Cyclic cosmology explains the relatively smooth universe, as the smoothing could have occurred during the preceding contraction, before the expansion began.

Space and time exist forever. The universe undergoes an endless sequence of cycles in which it contracts in a big crunch and re-emerges in an expanding big bang, with trillions of years of evolution in between. ~ Paul Steinhardt

Cyclic cosmology eliminates the need for cosmic inflation as an explanatory plug for the otherwise inexplicable. Einstein theorized a cyclic cosmology in 1930. Many other astrophysicists have developed their own models since.

Cyclic cosmology puts the beginning of this universe as just another cosmic bubble bursting into bloom, not the mythical origin point posited by ΛCDM, the standard cosmological model. The cyclic model supports the prospect that multiple universes exist (multiverse), and that existence is eternal.

A bounce takes place a short time before a would-be big bang. ~ American astrophysicists Lauris Baum & Paul Frampton

With this cosmos part of a multidimensional membrane, cruising an even higher-dimensional space, the universe’s origin was an energetic intersection of membranes; something more than cosmic humdrum, but by no means the solitary singularity of a single Big Bang, with only this universe popping forth from literally nowhere.

Considering the inscrutability of a unique big bang, cyclic cosmology makes intuitive as well as factual sense. For one, cyclic cosmology accounts for cosmic microwave background radiation as a transference of energetic patterning from the universe’s previous incarnation.

Central tenets of Hindu thought posit: 1) time as cyclical; 2) chaotic causality; and 3) interdependence between microcosmic and macrocosmic existence. Hinduism supposes that existence has neither a beginning nor an end.

Hindus have it that the life force of organisms is constantly recycled (saaṅsāra). Earlier acts have later influence (karma), often in subtle ways, and possibly across cosmic cycles of spacetime (yugas).

Under the Hindu conception: time, causality, and the microcosm of individuals and cosmic macrocosm are all linked in an interdependent mix. The cyclic model of cosmogony supports the tenet of cyclical time, as does Einsteinian relativity.

Objection to the cyclic model is based upon classical physics laws of thermodynamics, which blithely assume that the universe is only 4 dimensions, and a closed energy system. Abundant evidence and modern physics instruct otherwise, rendering the objections archaic. In contrast to the irregularities and improbabilities of a singularity followed by faster-than-light inflation, cyclic cosmology seems sensible.

The reason why the universe is eternal is that it does not live for itself; it gives life to others as it transforms. ~ Lao Tzu

Explaining cosmic creation is just the beginning of contention in storytelling about how the universe operates. The Big Bang hypothesis fails to address the critical question of how everything can emerge from nothing. Cyclic cosmology neatly answers the question by putting it off: this universe is simply a single incarnation of many, in an eternal cycle of creation.