" He did mention the possibility of an impersonal god not interested in our affairs."
How would you distinguish between this and a BB?
My personal preference is for a cyclic Universe where the 'BB' is a nexus with no singularity. However, this is irrelevant to my question.
"what if the pre-Big Bang isn't completely mechanical and was instead designed and let loose by an unimaginably intelligent field of energy using its own energy?"
I certainly would not agree with this. My offering would be said nexus which would be the result of contracting before entering the nexus.
The intelligent design model is really tough to grasp because it is difficult to believe reality could primarily be an intelligent energy source outside of our universe that can just will into existence (mind over energy and matter), using its own energy (itself), a ball of compressed energy with all the right ingredients for a universe and life, and then just let it do its thing. It sounds rather bizarre to an atheist, but aren't the complex, intelligent, self-aware life forms that emerged from DNA rather bizarre? It's as if the universe was pre-programmed to unfold exactly as it did to provide a home for life forms.
Because the universe has a worthy purpose - to be utilized, discovered, and explored, I can't help but wonder if the purpose preceded it. Otherwise, it would have been a colossal waste of real estate, never to be utilized or discovered. It might as well not exist. From there, one can get into metaphysics and the like, but an open mind should wonder about such things. Being a freethinker, I prefer to keep an open mind.
One of the most bizarre premises of quantum theory, which has long fascinated philosophers and physicists alike, states that by the very act of watching, the observer affects the observed reality. Mind over matter? Can a vastly superior mind have enough control over energy to will a universe into existence?
Back to the mechanical model: I favor a cyclic reality rather than a cyclic universe. The reason why has to do with all the dimensions leading physicists believe exist. If the expansion was slowing down and not still accelerating, I'd favor the cyclical expansion, contraction, expansion model. However, it looks as if the fabric of space-time has a lot more expanding to do before it slows down. It also looks like gravity is too weak a force to cause a reversal. And because space-time is an energetic fabric, I don't believe the universe keeps on expanding into a vast nothingness and fizzle out.
When I look at the acceleration and the fabric of space-time, I envision a point at which space-time can no longer expand. But that doesn't necessarily mean it will begin contracting. it may make a quantum leap into something else with different properties. In other words, the universe may fall victim to a more complex cyclical process than we can imagine. It may be part of a larger, more complex reality. There may be other universes like or unlike ours. We haven't a clue. All we can do is scratch our heads and wonder why the universe is still accelerating after almost 14 billion years.