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bluedog -- You mentioned Stephen Hawking and colleagues. The concept of an infinite number of universes is hard to imagine unless you can conceptualize the implications of infinity in space and time. This is probably not the website to discuss the science behind multiple universes, quantum mechanics, black holes or string theory. However, it is a fascinating subject for those who have the time to think deeply about the universe and the insignificance of our individual lives. People would rather argue faith...each of us has a "purpose".
Anyway, since the title of this thread is the Big Bang, consider this when you wake up at 4:00 am and ponder life. The Big Bang occurred 13.8 billion years ago...the age of the universe. The earth is only 4.5 billion years and lies within the Milky Way Galaxy. There are some 100 billion stars in our galaxy, but in the bigger picture there are at least 10 trillion galaxies in the universe. That translates into something like 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the universe if you believe the scientists.
But what was happening before the Big Bang? And what about all those infinite number of universes? Too mind boggling.
In any case, closer to home and 2020, if we fuck up our planet, the closest planet outside of out solar system capable of life is Ross 128 b, a mere 11 light years away. One light year is about 6 trillion miles. A space ship traveling at 38,600 mph would reach Ross 128 in 191,251 years. That would be some space ship.
The thought that we have at least one planet to escape to should be comforting.
Another thought: When exactly did time begin? According to the Bible time begin with the formation of the earth, something like 6,000 years ago; but some theologians put it at maybe 7,000 years old. Now that's a point worth debating.