Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Time Before The Universe Was Created

  1. Oct 2, 2003 #1
    I was raised in a home where God was just the accepted thing. Now that I am older I have started to raise questions that people I know, mom, dad, friends, relatives, can't answer. So I decided to ask it here.
    My question is somewhat hard to put into words and have it related to others the same way that I am thinking it, so if anything is unclear or confusing just let me know. Also, my question won't really make sense if religion is completley left out. My post is not directly about religion but it will be more clear If everyone realizes I am talking about the God of Christianity. If this is in violation of any rules just let me know and I will try to edit it to remove all religion or will just delete my post.
    First off, some general obvious points if you believe in the Christian God.

    1) God is eternal- He has always been around, always will be around.
    2) God created the universe out of nothing.
    3) Before God created the universe there was nothing but him

    My question is about time before the universe was created. If God was around for an infinite time before the universe was created then how did he ever get to the point where he decided to create something? I think it is easier to visualise if you think of it as counting to infinty, and when you get to infinity you will go buy a car, you can always count one more number and never get to infinty and never get your car. Wouldn't it be the same with God and time? Couldn't you always go one more interval of time? Or does the fact that nothing exists except God change the concept of time to something different than what I think of time as?

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2003 #2
    i guess if you say that god is conscious it wouldn't really matter "when" he created the universe because the answer is simply "when he felt like it". however your question on what god would be doing before is just mind boggling. maybe some day we'll know; then again, maybe we wont .

    as for the forum guide lines, just keep your specific religion out of the post and i think all will be good.
  4. Oct 3, 2003 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Perhaps you have heard Augustine's reply to just that question. "Making Hell to put people with invonvenient questions in."
  5. Oct 3, 2003 #4
    Welcome to the PFs, Erik! :smile:

    I don't know how well Kerrie will take to such a religiously inclined post, but while it's here I'll take a shot at your question:

    The Bible never necessitates that God created time or space, merely that he created everything in them. Remember the Genesis account of Creation? The first verse reads "In the beginning...", thus there must have been a set notion of time, because God is referring to what happened in the beginning of His creative work. However, this verse does not refer to the actual beginning of all creative work, since, as Colossians 4:15 says, God's first creation was his fist-born Son ("Jesus", "Michael", he's been called a couple of different names in the Bible), and thus the concept of set points in time must have been started at the creation of Michael (I say this because the verse in Colossians says he is the "first-born of all creation" and that means that God didn't "do" anything until that point, there was nothing to "do" anything with).

    Basically, what I'm saying is that, if you take the Bible to be true, then there has always been time, but set and measured time did not begin until the creation of the Son.
  6. Oct 3, 2003 #5
    If this the case of the christain god, then time was around before god created the universe, since if he was always around his age would be infinite, and you could only have age with time.
  7. Oct 4, 2003 #6
    You are exactly right, Turtle. This is a point I've been trying to get across to a certain Christian friend of mine, but some people just like to stick to what they've believed for their whole lives, they wont reason beyond that.
  8. Oct 4, 2003 #7
    I guess that this would be the answer to my question, but is a measured infinite amount of time any different than an infinite amount of time that isn't measured? I wish I knew more about these kinds of things but it is just in the last couple of weeks that I have started to wonder about things and actually question what I believe and what others tell me to believe.

    I was sitting in bed last night and came up with this. Say that when you die, something lives on. Be it your soul, or whatever. And whatever lives on (I'm trying to keep my specific religion out) goes somewhere. Lets just say it wanders around forever. Then whatever lived on is everlasting,-had a beginning, birth, but has no end, just keeps wandering around.
    You will always be able to look back, no matter how long you wait, and be able to put the time you have waited into a number. Eventually the number will become super large but it never will reach infinity. I think.
    If you have a piece of land that is infinty miles across, no matter how far you walk in a day you will be no closer to the end than when you started, because there is no end.
    If there is an infinte time before you do something, will you ever do it? If a god was around for an infinte time before he decided to do anything, would he ever get around to doing it?

    Sorry if my post seems all over the place but I am really confused, every time I try to put a question into words another question pops in and then I have to start all over again. And I have had a really bad week, my best friends mom got in a car accident and got ran over by a semi. The doctors say she will be able to go home in about a week, but she is pretty messed up.
  9. Oct 5, 2003 #8
    Krusty, the point you're making about infinity can be said about anything; not just god. If time is truly infinite, then how does anything that happens at a point in time ever happen? It would take an infinite amount of time to get to any one point on the time line. This is very much like a fixed measure of distance. A mile has an infinite number of points within it, yet you can pass over these infinite points to get from the beginning to the end in a matter of minutes
  10. Oct 5, 2003 #9

    Perhaps physics, of which time is a part, is just an artifact to occupy observers like us.

    Also, from my website:
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook