Is the universe finite?

Discussion in 'The Cesspool' started by IamJoseph, Aug 27, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. IamJoseph Banned Banned

    Messages:
    1,289
    If you had to make a definitive choice, would you say the universe is finite or infinite? The only qualification allowed is your answer has to relate to an 'ABSOLUTE' mode of finite or infinite, not a partial one. Go for it - its your universe.
     
  2. Guest Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    13,105
    The Universe is a currently a Paradox where Infinite and Finite exist at the same time until a point where a decision is made. You see we humans have the capacity to think, the capacity to imagine, the capacity to make the universe infinite. We could choose to participate in making it infinite or take the simpler and somewhat lazy approach of just leaving it the way it is. If we do the latter, then the universe becomes finite, it becomes an environment we might discover but will never be able to control.

    It (metaphorically) would much like being scientists that build a maze for laboratory rats and then during an paradox iteration (or technically absence of paradox) of difference between universes we neglect to identifying what type of maze we built, we become the lab rats lost in a maze that we no longer understand as architects.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  4. Guest Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. IamJoseph Banned Banned

    Messages:
    1,289
    Yes, one can select and imagine whatever one wants to here - this is a most sublime human attribute. But the universe and everything in it, including our imaginative thoughts, changes - depending on what we decide and conclude. The difference between a finite and infinite universe changes everything - including our most state of art science, math and beliefs. I want to get away from the grey areas - thus I seek an ABSOLUTE conclusion. Apples and oranges apply.
     
  6. Guest Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,449
    The universe began as the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago. Initially, it was (many scientists think) a singularity. Since light speed is the fastest thing that can travel, and since the universe has been expanding at the speed of the photons emitted by the original Big Bang, then the universe can today be a size of 13.7 billion light years times two, as diameter.

    This implies it is finite. Enormously large, of course, by any human standard, but finite.

    Of course, the shape of the universe is something else. We think of it as a 3 dimensional sphere, but this reflects our human limitations more than limiting the universe. We do not really know what shape it is, or even how many dimensions make up its existense.

    However, even taking this into account, my vote is for a finite universe.
     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    Check the Cosmology board, where a more detailed discussion of this same issue is underway. While it's true that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, empty space itself has been expanding at a rate much faster than the speed of light. So what the cosmologists say is that the stars themselves are not violating relativity, but their positions in space are moving faster.

    Don't ask me to explain that, it sounds like a bad 1930s science fiction story. The math gives me a headache but apparently the entire world community of physicists has peer-reviewed it and found it to be valid.

    We are currently seeing light from galaxies that are one hundred billion light years away. That defines our Hubble Volume, the portion of space we can observe. If those were the most distant stars in existence, it would mean that space has been expanding at almost eight times the speed of light. But according to the cosmologists, we have no reason to believe that there aren't more galaxies beyond the perimeter of our Hubble Volume, it's just that their light hasn't reached us yet so we can't see them.

    At this point I get an even bigger headache because apparently there may be galaxies all the way out to infinity. Check the Cosmology board and you, too, can go to bed with a headache.
    Review the tutorial that James R patiently delivered to me on the Cosmology board and you may find that you're wrong about that.
    You and I don't get a vote because we don't have the necessary university degrees to even understand this stuff. It would be like voting on whether Germans should eliminate the character ß from their alphabet (as the Swiss have already done) if you can't read or write German.
     
  9. IamJoseph Banned Banned

    Messages:
    1,289
    The notion of size, shape, space and light does not apply for me - I see these as post-universe products. The enigma is, without any inference on religious notions of a Creator intended - how can an action happen with the BB - namely the BANG part which indicates an expansion by heating impact - if the BB refers to a first entity?

    I mean, at one time there was no light, space, heat, energy or anything which is now contained in the universe - else the finite factor is violated. Here, even para- and multi-universes cannot apply [the finite factor].

    No credible answer is at hand from science, yet amazingly the only one which satisfies me is one found in Genesis: that the original first entity [BB?] was a duality, not a singular entity - this is logical because no action can occur with one entity per se. This also says it is impossible for the universe to contain a pure, pristine silgular entity which is indivisable and irreducible. Of note is that life itself is a result of a pre-programed duality - so why not the universe?

    If the above has any credence, it involuntarilly points to a creator or an independent, transcendent and precedent entity. Yes/no; why so?
     
  10. birch Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,077
    if the universe started with a big bang and it's expanding, then it's more probable that it's finite. you can't say something is infinite
    when you are constant observer from one fixed position. something that expands has nothing to do with infinity. even though many things expand but what if the universe stops expanding at some point and blows up or who knows what, then what will cosmologists say? oh, retract their supposition based on current observation.

    ridiculous analogy. it has nothing to do with laziness or nonlaziness. your reasoning is no different than an assumption that god exists and justifying it's lazy to assume it doesn't because there is no evidence to support right now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  11. IamJoseph Banned Banned

    Messages:
    1,289
    We may be in one fixed position, but the human mind is not also fixed or a constant as a fixed observer. The mind can fathom far away galaxies and extend beyond our fixed positions. Humans are the most superior beings in the known universe - the math and science says the universe 'MUST' be finite. Does a finite universe have any impact on currently accepted science - that is the question. E.g. does it effect the BBT?
     
  12. birch Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,077
    speculaton and conceptual ideas are important and necessary to test as well as fathom possibilities but we don't know that the universe is infinite. that is just impossible. we don't even know why the big bang occurred and even that is a theory.
     
  13. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,449
    An idea that is slowly gaining credence in physics is that our universe is just a part of a much larger multiverse. While this idea is currently not testable, and thus remains speculative, it permits for a number of possible 'origin' scenarios.

    For example : our universe may be the result of a black hole in another universe. Perhaps two universes collided, creating the Big Bang. Perhaps Big Bangs are the normal way of spawning new universes. We do not know. I hope that we will gain knowledge sufficient to confirm or deny some of these ideas.

    If there are many universes, then Joseph's need for a duality disappears.
     
  14. birch Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,077
    if this were the case, it may explain the duality in this universe too.
     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    The Big Bang model of the universe does not go all the way back to the zero point in time. It starts a tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang occurred. It says absolutely nothing about the conditions at that instant. Most people assume that the "first entity," as you call it, suddenly sprang into existence, and most scientists hypothesize this. But we have no good model of how that happened, so we cannot assume that it did happen. So this remains a conjecture rather than an element of any theory.
    Your model is also nothing more than conjecture. You have no evidence.
    Sez who??? Please provide a reference (not from a religious source) or other evidence to support that assertion. This is a place of science and you're expected to explain the things you say, using the principles that comprise the scientific method.
    The repetition of this fallacious argument is getting tiresome. I think SciForums should enact a new rule that anyone who posts it one more will be banned for a month. The definition of "universe" is "everything that exists." Any creature or "entity" that has the power to perform the feats involved in creating so much matter and energy clearly exists. Therefore this creature or "entity" is part of the universe. Therefore this assertion is flawed by the fallacy of recursion: the notion that someone/something created himself/itself. This is the tenth or fifteenth time that I personally have peer-reviewed and falsified this assertion. I don't believe this website should have to waste any more of our bandwidth on it. Despite your desperate disclaimer, this is a well-known religious argument and religion is held in very low esteem on SciForums.
    To "fathom" is hardly the same activity as to "observe." We all are quite capable of describing in intricate detail things that are impossible. More fallacious reasoning. This topic certainly brings out the worst logic in people.
    A theory is the highest status which an assertion can attain in science. "Theory" does not mean the same thing in science as it does in detective work or vernacular speech. A theory is a hypothesis that has been proven true beyond a reasonable doubt. The Big Bang has achieved this status because it only explains events that occurred a tiny fraction of a second after the zero point in time. It does not claim to explain the zero point. This is very similar to the theory of evolution: it only explains how one species evolves from another. It does not claim to explain how the first lifeforms arose.
     
  16. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,449
    Fraggle Rocker said :

    "So what the cosmologists say is that the stars themselves are not violating relativity, but their positions in space are moving faster.

    Don't ask me to explain that, it sounds like a bad 1930s science fiction story."


    The ultimate speed limit was expressed in a New Scientist article as the greatest speed that a cause and effect relationship can be propogated.

    This makes sense. The speed of light is the speed limit for matter, energy, or information. However, if space is expanding at a greater rate, there is no cause and effect action operating at a speed greater than light. That is; nothing about the expansion of space is having an effect somewhere else. With no cause and effect, the high speed of expansion is permitted.
     
  17. birch Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,077
    of course, until hypothetically it runs into something. then we may not survive to understand what happened. then a new universe may emerge with lifeforms who will again have the same conundrum as us wondering what happened.

    being in or part of something can only glean so much information and what is excluded is the knowledge of being an outside observer.
     
  18. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,832
    'sigh'

    Why hasn't this thread been moved to pseudoscience?
     
  19. IamJoseph Banned Banned

    Messages:
    1,289
    I agree more with Birch's acknowledged honest science. The multi-uni scenario is escapism of what appears a stumbling block. All observable and emperical indicators say the uni is finite, and the escapism cannot assist with any answers other than more brick walls further down the track.

    In fact the duality factor only becomes more viable. I gave the analogy of life - it could not have emegred as one singular entity, whereby interaction here is not possible. Contrastingly, two pre-programmed entities does answer the emergence of life. This scenario agrees with all entities, including non-biological ones. If correct, then it KO's the BBT on fiundamental scientific premises: the BB could not have occured by a singular entity.
     
  20. IamJoseph Banned Banned

    Messages:
    1,289
    Correct, and there is nothing wrong in starting at a point which allows a path of thought and progression, with the idea the unknown may fall in place later - ToE also employs this methodology, namely of marking out only the observable facts. However, the reason we start at an after the fact point is because the origin does not incline with the after the fact observable and empirical premises. We have an enigma here which is outside the premise of lack of knowledge. It is as if science does not apply. Here, perhaps science, math and thought per se are after the fact scenarios. The only scenario which appears credible is that the BB was not and cannot be a singular entity - else all of science collapses. Because all science is based on interacting entities.

    I did give scientific analogies. Consider that a life is not a result of a singular entity. Consider that nothing in the universe can be derived from a singular entity. This is an observable, scientific fact - not a theory. So why should it apply in accepting the BBT? The observable science says a singular entity cannot perform an action. Thus I asked up top to state your answer whether you are in a finite or infinite universe - then let all else you say align with your preamble. Please state which universe you see yourself in.



    Yes, but both the assessment and conclusion are deficient. There is a difference in not claiming the zero point [based on observation] - and not being able to claim it from the premise of interacting entities [based on observation]. The BBT and ToE are based on the observation of interacting entities, while the zero point allows no such construct. There can be no interaction at the zero point - observable or unobservable. At the very east, we can say the path must be wrong - even where the correct path is not knowable or observable.
     
  21. IamJoseph Banned Banned

    Messages:
    1,289
    Not possible in a finite realm: there is nothing else to run into - even hypothetically.

    Space is nothing other than physical matter in a rarified form, while physicality is a denser lumping of the same stuff. Further, space operates on possessed attributes, which comes under the premise of 'laws' - namely a directive program.

    The only concievable premise here is that the law [program] would precede the result. Here, both cause and effect become subordinate to the program directive. It asks the question, which came first - gravity, or the law of gravity? Water, or a pre-program law which says that only H and 2 X O parts combined will produce water?
     
  22. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,449
    Joseph

    Not much of science in your posts. What do you mean by needing several entities?

    Your other threads show that you believe an all-powerful deity 'magicked' the universe into being. This is just as speculative as anything anyone here has said, and leaves just as many unanswered questions.

    Science has the virtue of admitting when data is missing, and hence when explanations cannot be given immediately. Those of us more wedded to science, rather than religion, will readily admit we do not know what the universe consisted of at time zero, or whether there was a cause before time zero, or whether there is something outside the universe.

    I have considerable confidence in the innovative abilities of humans, and especially of those few humans who end up as super-genius physicists. Sadly I am not one, but I know that the ones that exist and are working with cosmology, will expand and increase our knowledge. I am prepared to wait for answers. Like the true followers of good science, I do not need to fall back on superstition for my answers.
     
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,287
    IamJoseph:

    Which particular observable and empirical indicators are you referring to?

    I ask because the ones used by professional astrophysicists apparently disagree with yours.

    I don't know what this means. Can you please explain?

    How do you reach that conclusion?

    So, all I have to do is produce one thing that can be derived from a "singular entity" and your claim vanishes. Right?

    Please define "singular entity" for me, since I'm not clear what you mean by that.

    Natural laws are descriptive, not prescriptive. What comes first is water. Then, billions of years later, humans come along and name hydrogen and oxygen. They then nut out how those elements combine to form water, and you have the "law" of water.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page