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Author Topic:   The infinite space of the Universe
Agobot
Member (Idle past 3875 days)
Posts: 786
Joined: 12-16-2007


Message 1 of 380 (466879)
05-17-2008 4:39 PM


With this topic i'd like to discuss what problems would arise if we accept the idea that the space in the universe is infinite. Could this mean we have a very wrong idea about what "to exist" means? Wouldn't this mean that physical existence is impossible and life is an illusional perception of our minds? What scientific explanation could be given for the existence of an infinite universe? Wouldn't the existence of endless space automatically rule out the existence of parallel universes, a creator, a beginning, an end, a purpose? If we assume that the space of the universe is finite, what could happen when the expansion of the observable universe reaches the boundaries?

Edited by Agobot, : No reason given.


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Admin
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Message 2 of 380 (466886)
05-18-2008 8:20 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

Taz
Member (Idle past 1636 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 3 of 380 (466928)
05-18-2008 5:37 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Agobot
05-17-2008 4:39 PM


Don't you think it's a bit too early to ask these kinds of questions? The only way to answer these questions is to simply pull stuff out of your ass like religionists do all the time. But for the rest of us heathens, give us a few million years then we'll have an answer for you.


I'm trying to see things your way, but I can't put my head that far up my ass.

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Admin
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Message 4 of 380 (466944)
05-18-2008 8:16 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Taz
05-18-2008 5:37 PM


Cool it!

Please, no replies.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

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Libmr2bs
Member (Idle past 4072 days)
Posts: 45
Joined: 05-15-2008


Message 5 of 380 (466964)
05-18-2008 9:10 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Agobot
05-17-2008 4:39 PM


One only has two choices - either the universe is infinite or finite. Both assumptions depend on the boundaries of time. For if time is finite, then the universe must be finite. If time isn't finite, then the universe can be either finite or infinite.

Time is only a comparison of cyclical events and invented by the human mind. If an event should only occur once, it would be impossible to relate it to another event without a measuring stick such as the sun rising every morning. And as the sun will rise at different times in the morning, we must understand that time isn't a perfect dimension. Einstein showed that the measuring stick of time can be warped and if the measurement of time can be influenced then our perception of the universe may be fraught with misconceptions.

The boundary that is most important is the boundary established by the speed of light. What's interesting is that particles traveling faster than the speed of light would be imperceptible and we have no technology to determine if or if not there actually is a boundary. For instance if one believes in "God" then one must believe the boundary does not exist. Thus the dilemna of scientist (not science).


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Perdition
Member (Idle past 1583 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
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Message 6 of 380 (467002)
05-18-2008 11:27 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Libmr2bs
05-18-2008 9:10 PM


I don't think time is a comparison of cyclical events. Time is merely a comparison of events in general. Much like you can say "before I was born" and "after I was born." Any event has the ability to create at least a modicum of temporality, merely by being able to say "before" and "after."

What a cycle does is exactly what the scythe clock in Death's house in Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" series does. It chops time up into smaller bits, giving us, essentially, many befores and afters, and because we now have more than one, betweens.


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Agobot
Member (Idle past 3875 days)
Posts: 786
Joined: 12-16-2007


Message 7 of 380 (467101)
05-19-2008 3:45 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Taz
05-18-2008 5:37 PM


quote:
Don't you think it's a bit too early to ask these kinds of questions? The only way to answer these questions is to simply pull stuff out of your ass like religionists do all the time. But for the rest of us heathens, give us a few million years then we'll have an answer for you.

"Hypothesis"

I think somebody came up with this word many centuries ago. I really think it might be beneficial for this discussion...

As for my personal opinion - life being so meaningless as it is, I think an infinite universe will just add more meaninglessness to the picture. Through my eyes, the whole universe looks like an aweful waste of matter and space and everyone looking for a meaning will meet a wall of indifference, coldness and lack of meaning and purpose. So, yes an infinite universe fits quite nicely in the picture of things.

Edited by Agobot, : No reason given.

Edited by Agobot, : No reason given.


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Straggler
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Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 8 of 380 (467106)
05-19-2008 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Agobot
05-17-2008 4:39 PM


Is it infinite?
Is the universe considered infinite as such?

I thought current cosmological modls suggested that if you went in one direction fast enough (i.e. >>C), for long enough then you would eventually end up back where you started?

This was my understanding and I am keen to be corrected if this is not the case?


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Agobot
Member (Idle past 3875 days)
Posts: 786
Joined: 12-16-2007


Message 9 of 380 (467108)
05-19-2008 4:20 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Straggler
05-19-2008 4:06 PM


Re: Is it infinite?
Wouldn't this mean that some of the galaxies at the far end of the universe would be turning up at the other end of the universe? So far(and i mean for the last 13.7 billion years) we have observed a constant and seemingly never-ending expansion of the universe. Will it ever reach a barrier? We don't know, but we do know that space is bigger than 30 billion light years across. And i see no reason to believe the expansion will ever hit a wall.

Edited by Agobot, : No reason given.


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 Message 12 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-19-2008 4:37 PM Agobot has responded

Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 10 of 380 (467111)
05-19-2008 4:26 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Agobot
05-19-2008 4:20 PM


Re: Is it infinite?
Wouldn't this mean that some of the galaxies at the far end of the universe would be turning up at the other end of the universe?

I don't think so. Not unless they were travelling in one direction faster than the rate of expansion, which itself exceeds the speed of light.

I could well be completely talking out of my arse here. So I think we need some input from someone who actually has a knowledge of these concepts including the proposed shape of the universe, the rate of expansion and what the speed of light actually means in relation to moving bodies seperated by space in an expanding universe.

Cavediver...?
Son Guko...?


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Agobot
Member (Idle past 3875 days)
Posts: 786
Joined: 12-16-2007


Message 11 of 380 (467114)
05-19-2008 4:34 PM


Just to add some more controversy to the issue - an infinite space in the universe will pose new unknown problems. Like the infinite numbers of Big Bangs, infinite number of galaxies, stars and planets, infinte forms of life, infinite number of human twins, etc. It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense(not that the observable universe does anyway).

Edited by Agobot, : No reason given.


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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 380 (467115)
05-19-2008 4:37 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Agobot
05-19-2008 4:20 PM


Re: Is it infinite?
And i see no reason to believe the expansion will ever hit a wall.

The expansion never hitting a wall doesn't mean the universe has to be infinite, just unbounded.

Are you sure you're not overlooking the differences between being infinite and being unbounded?

The universe is finite and unbounded. Many people think that means infinite, but it doesn't.


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Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Agobot, posted 05-19-2008 4:44 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 380 (467116)
05-19-2008 4:40 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Agobot
05-19-2008 4:34 PM


Just to add some more controversy to the issue - an infinite space in the universe will pose new unknown problems. Like the infinite numbers of Big Bangs, infinite number of galaxies, stars and planets, infinte forms of life, infinite number of human twins, etc. It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense(not that the observable universe does anyway).

Right on. The biggest reason for me to believe that the universe is finite is because it really just can't be infinite. It just doesn't make any sense that way.


This message is a reply to:
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Agobot
Member (Idle past 3875 days)
Posts: 786
Joined: 12-16-2007


Message 14 of 380 (467117)
05-19-2008 4:44 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by New Cat's Eye
05-19-2008 4:37 PM


Re: Is it infinite?
By Universe you mean space, right? So what's the difference between unbounded space and infinite space? A spherical model? What evidence is there to support this theory?

EDIT: Ooops. Spherical model of 3D empty space doesn't make too much sense

Edited by Agobot, : No reason given.

Edited by Agobot, : No reason given.


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Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-19-2008 5:40 PM Agobot has responded
 Message 19 by Libmr2bs, posted 05-19-2008 10:59 PM Agobot has not yet responded

Agobot
Member (Idle past 3875 days)
Posts: 786
Joined: 12-16-2007


Message 15 of 380 (467119)
05-19-2008 4:45 PM


Einstein is not helping us either:

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

-Albert Einstein

Edited by Agobot, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
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