Zero & one are possible numbers, 2 is not!

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by Dinosaur, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    In a SciFi novel, Isaac Asimov said that two is an impossible number.
    A set of parameters/conditions might be so restrictive that they cannot be satisfied: Hence zero is a possible number.

    A set of parameters/conditions might descibe some unique phenomenon, entity, object, whatever: Hence one is a possible number.

    If there are two phenomena, entities, objects, whatever which satisfy a set of parameters/conditions, there will some other phenomonom, entity, object which also satifies that set of parameters/conditions: Hence two is an impossible number.​
    The above was in the context the future discovery of a universe other than our own.

    The Asimov view seems compelling to me: We know of one universe, which might be unique. We can be sure that there are either no other universes or many others, but not two.

    In the absence of evidence, I vote for no others.

    BTW: Concening the laws of physics elsewhere in our universe or in another universe, I see no reason to vote for laws of physics elsewhere being different from those accepted by mainstream science.

    Perhaps some evidence might be discovered which supports the notion of different laws elsewhere (as opposed to improvements). Until there is such evidence, it seems irrational to consider the possiblity likely.
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  3. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

    So a quadratic equation has no business to have only two solutions.
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  5. AlexG Like nailing Jello to a tree Valued Senior Member


    Could you cite the story? Because I've read EVERYTHING Issac has ever written, and I can't place your reference.​
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  7. RichW9090 Evolutionist Registered Senior Member

    Assimov's argument did not deal with two as an absolute number. It dealt with two as a limit. Those are very diffeent concepts.

    If you were to follow your interpretation, the conclusion would not be that two is an impossible number; it would be that the only possible numbers were zero and one, for all numbers greater than one, the argument could be made that there exists an n + 1 which satisfies the conditions.
  8. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    AlexG: "The gods themselves" is the name of the novel.

    In that novel an alternate universe with slightly different physical constants is discovered. In that universe, an element which is stable in our universe is radioactive & decays into an element stable in their universe, but radioactive in ours.

    The universes can trade, allowing both to derive power from nuclear fission.
    We give them the element radioactive in their universe & they give us the decay product (stable in thier universe; radioactive in our universe).

    Each universe derives power from nuclear fission & trades the decay product, providing more nuclear fuel to the other universe.​
    It is perpetual power generation.

    A brilliant young physicist discovers that the process causes physical constants in both universe to slowly change. Continued use of the process will result in the sun going nova at some time in the not too distant future.

    The unlimited essentially free power has made the earth a paradise. Nobody is willing to stop using the process. The most powerful powerful politician on earth tells the young physicist the following.
    If I propose & back the legislation you want, I will lose the next election in 6 months. If I lose that election, I do not care if the sun explodes & destroys the solar system ten or twenty years from now.​
    The above defines what motivates politicians: Winning the next election, with no regard for anything else.

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