Can "Infinity" ever be more than a mathematical abstraction?

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Seattle, Jun 24, 2018.

1. NotEinsteinValued Senior Member

Messages:
1,986
PSA: Guys and gals, over in the thread Chinese Scholar Yang Jian liang Putting Wrongs to Rights in Astrophysics our local resident heyuhua has managed to prove that infinity does exist! He has stated in no uncertain terms that space itself is infinite in size. Here is the most relevant part of his proof:
So there, problem resolved, I suppose?

3. someguy1Registered Senior Member

Messages:
726

In any event, we can continuously (and homeomorphically, memap the entire real line to the open unit interval (0,1) and nothing really changes. So you could fit the entire real line in a shoebox. That's where I keep mine.

5. NotEinsteinValued Senior Member

Messages:
1,986
It's post #579. The name of the thread is clickable in my post; it'll take you right to it. Also, you can click the little up-arrow in the top-bar of the quote.

Absolutely true.

It's also not uncommon to map the entire complex plane onto a sphere. I'll see your shoebox, and raise you a football.

7. SeattleValued Senior Member

Messages:
5,383
Every concept is found in the real world as that is all that there is but every concept isn't necessarily more than an abstraction.

You can't however write out an infinity series of numbers (without shorthand) in the real world. Two isn't a "thing", it represents a thing and is a mathematical abstraction.

Infinity, even in math, is just shorthand for "large numbers" and not this metaphysical concept that is now being assigned to it in physics.

8. Write4UValued Senior Member

Messages:
12,445
In an infity probabilism (uncertainty) is moot. In an infinite timespan all probabilities will become realized in the whole and every infinite division of the whole.

9. Write4UValued Senior Member

Messages:
12,445
I agree, but if the word has several context dependent definitions then if the context is known, the specific definition can be derived from the context, no?

Would you need to question the use of the word potential in any of the following?
The common denominator in every one of those examples is, "That which may become reality"
Therefore the use of the word potential is always in reference to ;

10. Write4UValued Senior Member

Messages:
12,445
How do you know what is a physical structure or pattern? Our perception of solid physical matter is a relative experience, due to our size only. Some particle are so small they pass right through us and we don't even feel them, yet we are physical objects, no?
To those particles we do not even exist, they pass trough the spaces in our bodies. Yet the mathematical properties and behaviors of these particles can be identified and symbolically described with our mathematics.
At Planck scale there is more space than physicalness between particles. Nothing is solid at all, but are held together by the four fundamental forces, which produces the patterns which we call matter. But solidness as in adjoining infinitely small points is an illusion. There is always space in between.

Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
11. someguy1Registered Senior Member

Messages:
726
Haha. I'm an American. You mean a soccer ball!!

12. Write4UValued Senior Member

Messages:
12,445
Now this is a clear example of miscommunication...

You claim that accusing someone of "lying" is not an ad hominem, I shall prove you wrong and that accusing someone of lying is an ad hominem.
Do you still believe accusing someone of lying is not an ad hominem?
Really NotEinstein, there is no need for this. I need not lie to defend my point of view on a specific subject. I can be wrong due to ignorance of in-depth knowledge on the subject and have been told so several time in the course of discussions on many subjects, but I'll never lie just to win an argument, there is just no valuable information to be gained in that for either side.....

Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
13. Write4UValued Senior Member

Messages:
12,445
True, but only if there exist a "permittive condition" beyond the boundary of space......

If not permitted, the axis will stop at the boundary of space. Any extension (even an imaginary extension) of any spacetime properties beyond the boundary of a finite space is by definition unknown and cannot be used to prove or disprove anything, IMO.

Moreover, if the shape of the universe is a manifold, there can be no single axis around which the various parts of the universe revolve, true?

p.s. after reading the link to the heyuhua posit, it seems we are in general agreement on the concept of a bounded spacetime.

Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
14. NotEinsteinValued Senior Member

Messages:
1,986
We're using different words for the same definition. But at least we know what the other is talking about.

15. NotEinsteinValued Senior Member

Messages:
1,986
False; an ad hom is when you dismiss somebody's argument. What argument were you making?

Accusing somebody of lying can be an ad hom, but in this case (read carefully, I explicitly said that) it is not. I did not argue that you were wrong, because you are a liar, I simply said you lied.

And thus, your proving me wrong is proven wrong.

Indeed. If you simply learned what words and terms meant, we wouldn't have to go through this every time.

Then why did you lie?

Let's look at this in more detail:
"What I am trying to say is that I have to go hunting for words with the definition of what I am trying to say."
"I use the common denominator present in all of the definitions."

The first sentence says you go looking for words with the correct definition. The second says the words you end up using have made-up, private definitions. So I must conclude that your hunting typically fails: you don't find a word, and thus the need to make something up.

I think that most definitely qualifies as a "lie by omission". You've left out a crucial bit of information from your first statement; namely that this hunt typically fails to find the correct words. It's misleading to leave that out. This, coupled with a lot of fallacies of equivocation, lead me to my accusation.

This is not "ignorance of in-depth knowledge on the subject". This is not knowing how language works. This is not knowing how communication works. This is not knowing how definitions work.

Yes, there is. It's extremely valuable to know if the other side is lying, or lying without the other side catching you. Have you ever heard of politics?

16. NotEinsteinValued Senior Member

Messages:
1,986
Since "beyond the boundary of space" in an incoherent statement (how can there be space beyond where there is space?), this is effectively word-salad.

The concept of a growing axis is incoherent (for they cannot), so this is effectively word-salad.

I'm not sure what you mean by "spacetime properties", and I'm quite sure this is not "by definition" unknown, but I agree with the general argument you make here.

Isn't it always, by definition? (At least in the context of GR.)

Erm, we're not talking about such an axis. It's the axis of a graph, not a rotational axis.

Who's "we"? You and heyuhua, or you and me?

17. NotEinsteinValued Senior Member

Messages:
1,986
(Seattle: Why do I get the feeling I'm not going to get an answer to this?)

18. RainbowSingularityValued Senior Member

Messages:
4,729
have you heard of these ?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardier_beetle

have you heard of these ?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narwhal

... how to put this concisely ...
(my opinion)
perceptual convergance of atypical concepts of cause and effect do not render simplistic functional formula for a darwinian form of entropy;
though some arguement may suggest its process to be binary in observable nature.

Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
19. SpeakpigeonValued Senior Member

Messages:
1,122
Probabilities have to be established. You need to observe occurrences to be able to infer probabilities that would have any value.
So how exactly would you go about determining probabilities over an infinite universe? It just doesn't make sense.
EB

Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
20. SpeakpigeonValued Senior Member

Messages:
1,122
Sure but people won't understand if you yourself have a different context in mind when you use the word.
For example, let remind you of one of my previous posts, where I was asking you to explain Tegmark's use of the word "abstract":
Tegmark's phrase "our physical world is an abstract mathematical structure" doesn't make sense because Tegmark is using the word "abstract" to specify the nature of a concrete thing, the physical universe, which is a contradiction.
So, please explain how it is possible for our physical world to be anything abstract or what it means for the physical world to be abstract.
???
You're not making sense.
EB

Messages:
1,122
Irrelevant.
EB

22. SpeakpigeonValued Senior Member

Messages:
1,122
So, apparently you still want to use dictionaries when it suits you.
EB

Messages:
5,383