Hoku that is a strange post! You refer to a 2001 article by James Overduin. If you want to know what Overduin was saying almost 10 years ago, you don't need to purchase that article. You can read this 2001 review article by him for nothing:
In any case how does what a not-too-prominent guy says in 2001 show that "evidence is mounting and more scientists are taking seriously"?
Why do you say that "relational spacetime view" entails believing that spacetime was irrelevant before the start of expansion?
It is people who explicitly adopt the relational view who have been constructing and studying models where spacetime goes back before the start of expansion. They say their view is relational
and their computer models of evolving cosmic geometry go back before.
I'm talking about research proceeding at an increasing rate on the order of 100 papers a year. And current efforts to find ways to test the models.
This reality totally does not square with your statement.
Michael, that is an interesting statement. I think I understand. And I agree with what I think is the meaning you intended. The other issue is "does time go back before the big bang?"
On that question I think it is irrational, perhaps silly, to make statement Yes or No. We do not know. Do you perhaps agree with me here?
We have models where time stops and we have models where it continues on back before. The models have testable consequences and we should be able to test. But we have not yet tested. So there is no scientific reason to believe either one thing or the other.
Do you know the Einstein-Online website? I recommend reading A Tale of Two Big Bangs
on the issue of does time have a beginning at the big bang.
It's a public outreach branch of the Max Planck Institute. Hope you check it out.