How similar is this old idea to the idea of the "big bang"/"big crunch"? "According to Empedocles, all matter periodically contracts and expands. Under the power of Love everything unites until there is only "The One" - a divine and homogeneous sphere. Then the sphere dissolves under the rising power of Strife and the world is established in a series of stages until it reaches a state of complete dissolution. History then reverses itself, and the universe gradually returns to the state of the irreducible sphere. This cosmic cycle rolls on repeatedly without beginning and without end." How much is love like gravity and strife like entropy? http://www.thebigview.com/greeks/empedocles.html ------------- Of course as it stands now Kant is usually given credit for originating the idea of the big bang.