Before the Big Bang, there was

800px-WMAP_2008 It's long been assumed that "what happened before the Big Bang?" was a meaningless question. Time itself began with a boom. But based on clues teased from the background radiation left from the massively large and microscopically brief period of inflation following the birth of (our?) universe, Paul Gilster at Centauri Dreams points to some suggestive evidence that implies that this universe is but one act of a very long cosmic production. I'm sure "Quantum Loop Cosmology for Dummies" won't be published anytime soon, but any serious answer to "and before the Big Bang?" is an incredible answer indeed.

The image above is an image of the nearly uniform radiation that can be measured in any direction you choose. The key for our purposes is nearly.