Are the number of events in the past finite?

Reasons given for answering "Yes"
  • The Universe is not at max entropy

      The Universe is obviously not in a state of thermodynamic equilibrium (heat death). This is relevant because, if the Universe were past-infinite, it would have already reached this state. (After all, according to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, the entropy of an isolated system only increases with time--after an infinite amount of time, it would have reached a maximum entropy).1

      1. Paul Davies: “The first is that the universe will eventually die, wallowing, as it were, in its own entropy. This is known among physicists as the ‘heat death’ of the universe. The second is that the universe cannot have existed for ever, otherwise it would have reached its equilibrium end state an infinite time ago. Conclusion: the universe did not always exist.” [God and the New Physics (Simon & Schuster, 1983), 11.]; “[The idea] that the universe has always existed in one form or another-runs into a rather basic paradox. The sun and stars cannot keep burning forever: sooner or later they will run out of fuel and die. The same is true of all irreversible physical processes; the stock of energy available in the universe to drive them is finite, and cannot last for eternity. This is an example of the so-called second law of thermodynamics, which, applied to the entire cosmos, predicts that it is stuck on a one-way slide of degeneration and decay towards a final state of maximum entropy, or disorder. As this final state has not yet been reached, it follows that the universe cannot have existed for an infinite time.” [“The Big Bang - And Before.” The Thomas Aquinas College Lecture Series, Thomas Aquinas College, March 2002. (As cited by Craig)]
        P. J. Zwart: “…according to the second law the whole universe must eventually reach a state of maximum entropy. It will then be in thermodynamical equilibrium; everywhere the situation will be exactly the same, with the same composition, the same temperature, the same pressure etc., etc. There will be no objects any more, but the universe will consist of one vast gas of uniform composition. Because it is in complete equilibrium, absolutely nothing will happen any more. The only way in which a process can begin in a system in equilibrium is through an action from the outside, but an action from the outside is of course impossible if the system in question is the whole universe. So in this future state of maximal entropy, the universe would be in absolute rest and complete darkness, and nothing could disturb the dead silence. Even if there would by chance occur a small deviation from the state of absolute equalization it would of itself rapidly vanish again. Because almost all energy would have been degraded, i.e. converted into kinetic energy of the existing particles (heat), this supposedly future state of the universe, which will also be its last state, is called the heat death of the universe.” [About Time (North-Holland, 1976), 136.] (As cited by Craig)]
  • An actual infinity can't be formed by adding

      A collection formed by successive-addition cannot become infinite (ℵ0) in number.1 This is obviously relevant because the temporal series of events in the past is a collection formed by successive addition.

      1. Article forthcoming.
        Ellis, Kirchner, & Stoeger: “The arguments against an infinite past time are strong – it’s simply not constructable in terms of events or instants of time, besides being conceptually indefinite” [G.F.R. Ellis, U. Kirchner, and W.R. Stoeger, "Multiverse and Physical Cosmology," 14. (As cited by Craig). Available online.)
  • An actual infinity is impossible
  • The Hot Big Bang model is true
  • Reasons given for answering "No"
  • [A past-eternal Quantum-Gravity models is true]

      [Brackets] mean “forthcoming”

  • [A cycling universe model is true]

      [Brackets] mean “forthcoming”

  • [A Chaotic Inflationary model is true]

      [Brackets] mean “forthcoming”

  • [The Hartle-Hawking model is true]

      [Brackets] mean “forthcoming”

  • [The Got-Li-Xin hypothesis model is true]

      [Brackets] mean “forthcoming”

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