No one, and I mean NO ONE knows the answer. There are “theories” and basically “guesses,” but all of them could be way, WAY off from the truth. Consider this – – most experts on human history have trouble giving pinpoint, definitive answers as to exactly when human beings first came into existence, and which ones are directly related. Every time they unearth another skeleton, they say “Scientist had it all wrong. We now know….” This history is relating to millions of years ago, and they can’t answer it accurately and keep changing with new discoveries. Do you really think they have a clue about billions of years ago?
If anyone believes themselves to be that intelligent that they can answer when and how our universe began, then tell me now, exactly how far does space go? You don’t know? Are you going to give a simplistic answer like “It goes on forever.”? Explain how that is possible. Are you going to tell me “because space curves.” That doesn’t answer what’s beyond the curve, and even if space curves, you can draw a line that does not curve even if the space around it does, so how far does that line go into infinity, and how is that possible to go forever. You don’t have the answer.
As to the “Big Bang” Theory, technically there wouldn’t have been a “Bang” because no one was around to hear a sound, so there could have only been sound vibrations, silently traveling through a rapidly expanding medium of space. In any event, if you can accept, with child-like simplicity, that “before” the so-called “Big Bang” there was “nothing,” really try to fathom all of everywhere not being there, and there is nothing! Try and really explain that with a detailed, intelligent explanation. Can you really, logically comprehend a scenario where there was one “Big Bang” beginning of all time, and before that time did not exist and there was nothing – – no change for ever and ever way, way back, infinity…. never ever a start to anything…. just nothingness forever? Then where did the stuff that this universe is made of come from? Where did the “condensed universe” that suddenly started heating up and expanding come from? What was it, and how did it get there, and where was there? Floating in no space? What was beyond that? Nothingness? For how far, how could nothingness exist for all of everywhere that your mind could fathom in all directions – – NOTHING – FOREVER!
Human beings simply don’t know enough to know what is out there, and for how long, or how many times these type of restarting of universes may have occurred, nor if there is any spiritual or intelligent being existing right along with that universe of atoms and their minute particles and sub-particles that scientists still do not fully understand.
Time is change. If nothing changes anywhere in any part of all space, including the movements of electrons and particles in an atom, then there is no time. However, if ANYTHING is moving any distance or oscillation, there is change and therefore time. If any infinitely small event occurs followed by another, there is a span of time. What about the thought process in your brain? Every thought, followed by another thought are occurrences over time. If there is a non-physical, spiritual entity that we do not fully understand, explain or comprehend in our understanding of a physical world, then it is entirely possible that one or more spiritual beings could have thoughts, and this could exist as passage of time between spiritual thoughts – even if the physical universe is in a dense, non-changing state. We just don’t know these things for sure.
Even if you don’t believe in God, or the possibility of one or more deities involved in our present world, you just don’t know if spiritual entities exist or have existed in the universe – – and don’t give me the cop-out answer that there is no evidence or proof spirits do exist, so they don’t. Theories explaining spiritual interactions with humans or between one or more human beings is just as sound and rational as all of the so-called scientific theories about time and space.
Even if the universe was at a stand-still at one point in time, and began expanding in one singular or multiple occurrences, we would have no way of knowing if the universal slate had been wiped clean time and time again, and all evidence of previous “Big Bang” expansions and contractions had been erased. This present condition of a universe that we are now experiencing could be a first time event, or could have happened over and over billions, trillions, or an infinity number of times, and we would have no way of knowing.
If every particle in every atom came to a complete stop, or all of them were condensed to one massive ball with no change in or around it, then there would be no concept of time – – for that immeasurable duration. Yet, if any portion of that mass changed in any way, heated up, cooled down, atomic particles moved, the mass expanded slightly – – then that would be change and therefore passage of time. If those small changes occurred over and over for eons before another “Big Bang” how could any infinitely ignorant species existing billions of years later, postulate that “time” began right at the “bang” (or rapid expansion) and not during minute changes earlier, or if there were multiple incarnations of the universe over and over again.
You just DON’T know, nor does anyone have an intelligent guess, any more than you can prove yes or no that there was a creator that has existed spiritually along with all of this, and is responsible for the impetus which brought about life in this particular occurrence of expansion through His will. Our current universe might have just happened, or it might have been “created” intentionally. No way to know. We, as human beings, might be just a part of the evolutionary process one chance in billions, or we might have been given life, and our genetic DNA created by intelligent design to be implanted and evolve right along with the rest of the planet Earth. We don’t know. If they knew – – there would be no debate, no question, and no discussion. It would just be a proven fact with all answers explained.