Rand took her axiom “Existence exists” to mean that “nature, i.e., the universe as a whole, cannot be created or annihilated, that it cannot come into or go out of existence.” She expressed this view in the 1973 essay “The Metaphysical versus the Man-Made.”
General Relativity does not conceive of the initial singularity as a nothing. According to GR the universe possessed its present total, finite amount of mass-energy all the way back to the big bang. Contemporary scientific cosmologists do not expect that the expansion of the universe will prove to be extendable absolutely all the way back to the initial singularity, since they expect an as yet unknown quantum character of spacetime and gravitation, not classical GR, to rule for sufficiently minute t>0.
Even if classical GR were the rule all the way back without intervention of quantum effects at the Planck scale of spacetime, even if, as the classical equations say, the spacetime manifold and metric can be extended back to an initial t=0 and no further: there would be no time in which the universe did not exist. It would exist for all the time there is with the enormous total mass-energy it has today.
Arguments need to be constructed for Rand’s thesis that I stated in the first paragraph. If that traditional cosmological thesis can be demonstrated by philosophical analysis, then that demonstration needs to be set forth. If every putative philosophical demonstration can be shown to be fallacious, then even though the thesis may in fact be true, it can be reasonably concluded that the thesis can only be established by modern science.
(Edited by Stephen Boydstun on 7/06, 8:05am)