Infinite time.

Is it possible that time is infinite? That time goes back infinitely forever. Before earth, before the sun, before the creation of the known Universe, before that? Was there a starting point or is there something beyond space and time we (I) can’t comprehend. If there was a beginning is that where we find God?

If time is infinite does that mean that everything that could have happened has already happened. Has this already happened, have I typed this before? Statistically what does it mean when there is infinite time – have I already been, will I be again? Is that reincarnation?

Just a few questions I think about from time to time when I’ve been up too late. I would love to hear answer if you have any!

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JonThinking about this question leaves me really confused. I started looking in google for physicists’ take on the issue (and found a lecture by Stephen Hawkings), but the truth is I don’t understand much of any of them (including Hawkings’). But I’m going to vote for the hypothesis that you did not type this post sometime in the past (or an infinite number of times in the past). I guess that even if you imagine something existing for an infinite amount of time, but if you also imagine that thing can take on an infinite number of configurations, a particular configuration (like Atticus-typing-this-post) wouldn’t need to repeat itself.

AtticusGood point Jon.

I think the general thesis/questions I keep thinking about is:

If time is infinite and the number of things that can take place in the physical universe are finite then we can conclude that all events have repeated themselves an infinite number of times.

I think that leads us to the question: Are the number of things that can take place in the physical universe in fact finite?

I wonder if anyone has done any work around this – my general thought is that it’s probably infinite. Having said that, that makes every moment pretty special because the chances of any given moment happening just as it happened were infinitely small. Kind of an interesting perspective.

RattlesnakeThis is a very interesting subject to think about, even if I have no idea what I am thinking about. How I think about it is that time is just another dimension, like the three spatial dimensions we are accustomed to. Just like we can physically move in three dimensions, a four-dimensional being would be able to travel through time with the same amount of effort that it takes us to walk across a room, if I’m understanding this stuff correctly. Again, if I understand the theory correctly, time is finite in our universe (just like the area of the universe is finite), but there are possibly other universes that have their own time, so the total amount of time is equivalent to the sum of all of the time that is contained within all of those universes (which is a finite amount). So, I would guess that time is finite, unless there are infinite universes.

I probably have no idea what I’m talking about (and this is just a theory anyway that probably doesn’t account for the actual origin of our universe or any others), but it’s interesting to think about regardless…

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David YerleMathematically speaking, if space is discreet – it has a finite number of configurations – then infinite time means precisely what you said: everything that can happen does happen and it does so an infinite number of times. Not only do you live your life an infinite number of times, but also every possible variation of it.

However, if the latest physical theories are true, time is just another dimension of space and it is finite. This doesn’t mean that time has a start, but that it has finite extent. Just like the surface of the Earth doesn’t have a start but it is also finite.

So what you’re saying actually makes a lot of sense both from the physical and mathematical point of view.

DavidThe Big Bang and the Big Crunch. The “universe” begins with the Big Bang and ends with the Big Crunch. When all matter occupies the least possible space, the Big Bang occurs again and the entire universe is reborn. Time begins with the Big Bang and reverses when expansion of all matter has reached the maximum point and begins to fall back toward the point where the universe began. We have all experienced existence an infinite number of times and will again experience the same existence an infinite number of times.