Before the big bang

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I watched an engaging BBC4 Horizon programme last night which mostly involved theoretical cosmologists putting forward their own ideas and a few arcane diagrams, and being just ever so slightly, but fairly nicely, dismissive of those of others.  Not all the ideas on offer seemed sensible, but I remember someone (who seemed to know what they were talking about) once saying that the right question in the quantum world was not "is this a crazy idea?", but "is this idea crazy enough to be right?".

The focus of the programme was whether it was sensible to think of what happened before the big bang — or not.  Some thought yes, and others no, and some like Roger Penrose had changed their mind, and said how exhilarating it was to do this — but I knew that, in my much more modest way.  It was a bit like ESD argumentation, though on a slightly grander scale and with much better pictures.

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