Consider that the universe is constantly expanding, and that once it has reached a certain limit in momentum, it will begin collapsing on itself, much like a rubber band. Now also keep in mind that time is a constant of the universe, and bends at its will. With this given set of parameters, does The Conduit believe that once the universe begins collapsing upon itself, time will actually start running backwards, and these events will be repeated 25 trillion years from now, only in reverse ? As a follow-up question, under the assumption that once the universe has contracted, it will begin to expand again, and time will once again move forward, will the events of history take place exactly the same ?

Take it as proven and agreed that the universe is expanding (read up on “Red Shift” for further explanation) but can it be as easily agree that the universe will at some point cease to expand ? Is the “Big Crunch” inevitable ? There’s one to spice up your water-cooler debates !

The statement about time is also one open to query – naturally it is agreed that time is a constant within any given inertial frame of reference but it is easily demonstrable that as velocity increases, time slows relatively so a person in a ship that travels close to the speed of light can expect time to pass at a different rate to those he or she left behind on their home planet (read up on “Relativity” for that one).

As for the idea that time “bends”, that is a difficult one to imagine – and if you are going to call that our “fourth dimension” then what about the remaining 6 (or 7 or 22 depending on what variety of String Theory, if any, you favour) ? Do they bend ? Are they entirely separate from time or do they affect it ?

If one accepts that the universe will contract and that time will therefore run “backwards” one must be careful what that means. Would that be a literal “undoing” in which case yes, everything would occur backwards, or would it be like reversing in any of our more tangible three dimensions in which case we might reasonably expect to see many of the same landmarks but not necessarily quite how we left them ?

Finally, if the universe were to happen again would it be exactly the same ? If so, then you must immediately discount free will (which most are loathed to do) as then you could be in a repeat cycle right now and have no control over your actions. The Conduit feels that a chaotic system can not have this level of predictability and would proffer James Gleick’s book Chaos as a good start in understanding the butterfly effect. Additionally, if you consider the universe as having “undone” itself then technically none of the events would be repeating because they never would have taken place in the first instance.

In summary, long answer “yes” with an if…short answer “no” with a but.

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