surreptitious57 wrote:Before biology there was chemistry. Before chemistry there was physics. Before physics there was mathematics. Before mathematics there was nothing.

Up until mathematics, you words speak in terms of science. Once you bring mathematics into the picture, you are speaking philosophically (specifically, Pythagorean). What you are speaking of is the abstract, static infrastructure of the universe that I tried to explain earlier. It is very Pythagorean and Platonic. It is a description of an existence beyond time and space. Saying that before biology and chemistry, there was physics, makes sense in a temporal context, but to say before physics, there was mathematics only makes sense if "before" means "underlying"--underlying physics, there is mathematics. Things can still underlie, depend on, be rooted in, other things even in a static, abstract context devoid of time and space. To say that nothing comes before mathematics is to say that mathematics is the ultimate foundation of everything, and therefore nothing can be deeper.

While I appreciate your insight into the role that something as abstract as mathematics can play in the structure of the universe, I prefer to think of the ultimate foundations of the universe as experience (i.e. mind, consciousness, etc.), which itself finds many expressions in mathematics.

The singularity which the Big Bang was at the beginning of time is a physical representation of a universal consciousness. It is how that which the universe is aware of is represented when put in terms of a singular, homogeneous, uniform thing. That one thing, that one principle of existence, can be expressed in a multitude of complex forms--like white light being split into a rainbow of colors, or like the number 1 being split into fractions; going with the mathematical analogy, I like to think of the ultimate experience of the universe--the ultimate principle of existence of which it is ultimately aware--as signified by the number 1. That is the singularity of the Big Bang. The expansion of the universe after that is how the number 1 gets expressed in terms of fractions: 1/2 + 1/2... 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4... 1/8 + 1/8 + ...

There is no time here. The number 1

just does equal 1/2 + 1/2, and that in turn just does equal 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4, and so on. You don't need time for that equation to hold. I believe it is the same for experience--at least the kinds that are represented by the early universe and other non-human experiences. Physics is just a material representation of that put into spatial and temporal terms so as to be intelligible to the human mind.

Note that you can continue to expand the expressions of the number 1 into smaller and smaller fractions--you can go so far as to express it in terms of one over a million plus one over a million plus... but at a certain point, you no longer need to divide the fractions up into even even smaller fractions. Instead you can simply allow them to go through changes in value which preserve the overall equation. Take, for example, the equation: 1 = 0.1 + 0.2 + 0.3 + 0.4; the values of each term can be altered as follows: 0.25 + 0.25 + 0.25 + 0.25. <-- What we have here are the components of the system continuing to go through change without any expansion, so long as the change in one component is compensated for by a matching change in another component, such that the overall value of 1 is preserved. This might be said to represent a universe that continues to go through flux without the expansion (the compensating changes in each term representing the laws of physics). Of course, our universe is constantly expanding (they say it has never stopped, and in fact is accelerating); but the current inflationary model of the Big Bang states that the rate of expansion is not a constant--at some points in the universe's history, it was inflating faster than at other rates. All I would say, in terms of this mathematical analogy, is that at some points in the history of the universe, a faster rate at which the terms divide up into smaller fractions is the best mathematical expression, but at other points in the history of the universe, a slower rate of dividing up of terms accompanied by a faster rate of term changes is the best mathematical expression.

Mathematics itself, however, is an expression of the deeper inner nature of things, which I believe to be experience (mind, consciousness, etc.), and as I said above, the singularity from which the Big Bang sprung (the number 1) is the ultimate awareness on the part of existence of what itself is (which happens to justify itself

as existence), and this awareness can be expressed in multifaceted ways, eventually in terms of physics in the human way of experiencing things. Mind as we know it is multifaceted--it is not a singular experience, but a multitudinous conglomeration of qualities--colors, sounds, pains and pleasures, thoughts, emotions, dreams, memories, cold and hot, soft and hard, sweet, bitter, etc., etc., etc. Human conscious is capable of experiencing these things because this is a tiny fraction of what the universe has expressed itself as in its ongoing transmutation through the multivariate forms of its own identity. Time is only required in order to express this identity (partially) in terms of human subjective experience. Ultimately, though, time is not needed. The singular experience represented by the singularity at the moment of the BB

just is the equivalent of its multivariet and heterogeneous forms of experience some of which are found in the human subjective experience. Time, if anything, is just one of the terms, not a medium in which the terms are expressed. The universe says to us: I am this... and I am also that, and that, and that--for these expression, when given to human empirical experience, must be put in temporal terms, but ultimately, it is the same as saying: I am 1... and I am also 1/2 + 1/2, and also 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4... <-- time is irrelevant here. The only reason there seems to be a beginning to time is because there happens to be an ultimate, unified, singular way for the universe to express its awareness, a singular way beyond which there is no more simplified way. <-- That's what makes it special--not that it is the beginning of time (at least, not in human terms)--but that it is the ultimate expression of what the universe is.