“Space is certainly something more complicated than the average person would probably realize. Space is not just an empty background in which things happen.” -Alan Guth
If you go back in time, earlier and earlier, things get hotter, denser and more energetic. But there’s a limit to how far back you can go, and that limit doesn’t end in a singularity with the birth of time and space; instead, it ends with a period of cosmic inflation, which set up the hot Big Bang as we know it.
For a long time, inflation was pure theory. Recently, however, detailed observations of the density fluctuations in the Universe have not only confirmed it, but have allowed us to better understand which models of inflation might actually describe our Universe. If our modeling is correct and the data continues to improve, we just might come to understand how the Universe came to be this way after all.