My first speculation and I call it reasonable and responsible speculation is that something physical preceded the initial expansion of our observable universe and that something had to be able to exhibit energy to initiate expansion.
Physical: My definition in this context is that anything that is composed of energy is physical. This includes matter in all of its forms, electromagnetic radiation across the full spectrum, and any other form that energy can take.
Energy: My definition in this context is energy can be viewed as a commodity. Matter is 100% energy and so matter is a form of the energy commodity. Electromagnetic radiation consists of photons and in my definition photons are composed of energy. Thermal radiation transferred by conductance is the transfer of energy. Work of any kind is the expression of energy. All of the usages by science of the term energy are also included in this definition.
Space: My definition in this context is space is simply where things happen. It could be empty but never is because the energy density of space equalizes itself to fill all space.
Matter: In this context matter includes matter, electromagnetic radiation, and any other form of energy other than the energy density of space.
Energy density of space: The energy commodity can exist without being tied up in matter or radiation. Energy not tied up in matter or radiation exists as energy density of space. This may or may not be speculation depending on how you interpret that current body of scientific knowledge. If you interpret science as saying energy can exist in space when not being part of the composition of matter or electromagnetic radiation, then energy density of space is not speculation. If you say that science does not include that form of energy then it is an early step in my sequence of responsible speculations. I will address this form of energy in my step by step sequence.
Energy density: In this context energy density has two types. Energy tied up in matter, and energy density of space. Both energy in matter and energy in space exhibit energy density. Energy density is the amount of the commodity divided by the volume of space. Energy tied up in matter and energy in space are “physical” in the context of this ATM thread.
Expansion: In this context expansion is the observed relative motion of the galaxies and local groups of galaxies that are all moving away from each other. Accelerating expansion is the increase in momentum of the change in separation motion of the galaxies moving way from each other in all directions.
Time: In this context the only time that we can empirically measure is time that has past. Time that has past is a continuum. No matter how you measure it there are no measurable increments small enough to match the reality of how time passes. It is a smooth progression. Regardless of Zeno’s Paradox, time passes in infinitesimal increments that defy measurement which simply means it is a continuum. Remember that by my definition, time has already moved before you apply your measurement and you can’t measure in small enough increments to reveal that time is a continuum.
These definitions help define my initial speculation, that something physical preceded the initial expansion of our observable universe and that something had to be able to exhibit energy to initiate expansion. The matter/energy that preceded expansion is referred to as the “entity” for now. The entity preceded the expansion.
My second speculation and I call it reasonable and responsible speculation is that the entity occupied space before the expansion began. This may seem obvious but I say it to clarify that the entity has volume and so it is not infinitely dense.
My third speculation is that the entity was not frozen in time, but that time passed and the entity existed in time and space prior to the beginning of the expansion.
These three speculations set the stage for further simple and responsible steps in a sequence that offers a simple but speculative view of the universe.
To continue from the first three speculations that matter/energy, space and time pre-existed the expansion, I speculate that the entity experienced a past and that the universe itself is always changing, and therefore the entity’s past included change.
It is reasonable to speculate that the “past” experienced by the entity that preceded expansion didn't start out as such a tiny entity but arrived at its tiny pre-expansion volume through change after occupying a different volume.
I am going to speculate that the entity was at is smallest possible volume at the instant that expansion began and that the change in volume that preceded the expansion was contraction. This speculation says that the entity contracted or collapsed before expansion began.
These are simple step by step speculations with accompanying definitions to start this ATM thread about what preceded the expansion of the universe. If you need me to define words that I have used because you can’t understand them in this speculative context which is clearly ATM and far removed from the language and jargon of the mainstream I will be happy to do so.
Your comments would be appreciated. I will continue expanding this ATM thread by building on it with additional step by step speculations. One obvious risk is that any one of the steps could be “not even wrong” in itself and that could make any following steps “not even wrong” as well.
If your comments find such a flaw and you include the “not even wrong” phrase you should be able to explain what is “not even wrong”. I hope you will be willing to enter into a discussion with me about what you see as wrong so that I will understand.
Thank you for any comments. I will take all of them into consideration regarding what has been posted and as (or if) I post additional speculative steps.