The cover story of the New Scientist, 1 December 2012, is entitled Before the Big Bang: Three reasons why the universe could not have existed forever. Marcus Chown shows that the three cosmological models which invoke eternity – eternal inflation, eternal cycling and emergence from an eternal high energy vacuum – are flawed when examined in the light of the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem (2003) and later work by Vilenkin and Mithani (2012). The article includes these statements, long overdue in a national (UK) popular science magazine:
Update added 19 January 2013: Since the New Scientist article it has been announced that the idea of a quantum foam has been more or less abandoned. Space-time is, as Einstein predicted, continuous. This means the concept of quantum particles popping into and out of existence is not valid, according to the latest quantum physics.
Infinity, eternity and cosmology
Eternity and thermodynamics
have drawn attention to why the concept of an infinite or eternal material universe is untenable and outside the realm of logical thought – something which leading cosmologists have appeared unable or unwilling to accept. I find this mystifying. Is it because they don’t want to have to admit that some agent, i.e. God, must have created what has a beginning? Yet there is no comfort for them in proposing an eternal universe, because they still have to explain why there is anything at all – something rather than nothing. Even a universe without a beginning would have existence rather than non-existence. (NB: the holy concept of Eternal Life is outside the realm of physical materialism - this is a state of being outside the man-made constructs of time and space. In Christianity it starts in this life and survives physical death.)
So what do we have?
1. A universe that was created along with space and time in which to expand.
See also Striking the knowledge barrier
author, 2077 AD