A follow up: I just read a piece suggesting that string theorists believe (and plan to prove) that the Big Bang came after the beginning. At least Stephen Hawking has finally admitted that time doesn't go backwards.
Someone wrote it in an email to me and I am afraid that I cannot properly parse it. I am trying to catch up on my physics by reading popular science book, but I seem to be getting confused in all the different cutting edge theories. Any help would be appreciated.