someguy1 » September 1st, 2018, 4:27 pm

You're the second person who's decided to get their ideas about infinity from astronomers. The WMAP scientists don't know anything about infinity. I wouldn't ask a set theorist about star formation. Don't ask astronomers about infinity.

Well....the thread did say "clarifying";-) but yeah, I was only answering infinity space as a possibility. Now you are shifting me to infinity in math, which is fine, I think

someguy1 » September 1st, 2018, 4:27 pm

I most definitely agree that in practice it seems that we can't count to infinity. It takes a minimum amount of time to say a number, and our time is finite. The sun will go nova, the universe will collapse to another big bang or expand to heat death. Everything is finite. I perfectly well agree with your point.

Well this was not about limited by time or such, it is simply impossible to achieve, thinking about Infinite as the "Whole", of which numbers are merely divisions, MIGHT not be how we should approach infinity, hence my separation between actual and potential.

someguy1 » September 1st, 2018, 4:27 pm

HOWEVER. I wonder if you would consider the following point of view. In math, we have infinite sets. I hope that people will grant that while there may well not be actual infinities in the world, there certainly are in math. Cantor's paradise, as Hilbert put it.

For the most part one might say I was speaking of the phenomenal universe as actual. Mathematical infinities I can see has having a life of their own, they are real in the sense that math inhabits its own dimension. And I use the word "dimension" in commonality.

Math to me describes the heavenly ideal of what our physical state can only shadow. In mystical traditions it can be said that the square-cube describes the phenomenal, the circle-sphere the infinity, and the triangle-pyramid the bridge between the two. (And I am still speaking from a laic POV) And beneath this reality lies the Infinite 0, which is what I tend to think shows up in Physics at which point they start looking for strings or whatnot to maintain a somethingness to reality. (If that makes any sense), so, moving on

someguy1 » September 1st, 2018, 4:27 pm

So now consider this. In the history of math and science, there have been many instances of mathematical objects that at first seemed absurd, yet later became essential to our understanding of the world. Irrational numbers, negative numbers, imaginary and complex numbers. The useless and bizarre theory of non-Euclidean geometry in 1840 turned out to be the true spacetime geometry of the universe in 1905.

The most striking example is factoring integers. It's an ancient problem regarded as supremely beautiful and supremely useless. Until the 1980's when someone used factoring to invent public key cryptography, which is now the basis of all e-commerce, blockchain technologies, and international cyber-spying. This is an example of a mathematical pursuit that was absolutely useless for 2000 years then became absolutely essential, overnight -- in our own lifetimes.

This I can understand this as our understanding of the phenomenal world has DEEPENED, so have we come closer to those relationship or maybe mathematical purities of which our phenomenal world shadows. I mean technology is nearly math becoming manifest, but in a different vein than say a flower does.

someguy1 » September 1st, 2018, 4:27 pm

So here is my thesis. Tell me what you think.

* We have a long history of mathematics discovering something purely abstract, "obviously" false about the world, but a nice plaything for the mathematicians with their head in the clouds. And then one day some physicist finds a use ... and after a while, what was once absurd becomes received wisdom.

* Actual infinity is one such example of something mathematicians discovered and built a big and beautiful theory about, that appears to be totally false about the real world.

* Is it not then at least POSSIBLE that someday -- tomorrow morning, or 500 years from now -- professor so-and-so in Helsinki will drop a paper showing that assuming an actual infinity explains some laboratory phenomenon to an astonishing degree of accuracy. Everyone will say, "Well of course there's no REAL infinity, it's just a model that makes our calculations easier." They said that about heliocentrism. Then the old scientists die off and the young ones take over the profession, and to them, the new paradigm is as real as a rock you can kick.

This pattern has been repeated so often through the history of science that we must allow that it is POSSIBLE that someday, the mathematical theory of actual infinity will turn out to be a part of the world.

You can't say it's not possible. That would be my thesis. What do you think?

Oh "possibles", certainly anything is possible, isn't that what they say..... and would I be a closed minded doctrinal thinking thinker if I would deny such possibilities.....and why does this argument always work for those in science and never for the theologians.....ahhhh.(Rhetorical)

Perhaps I might posit the Infinities are like the holes in the universe, the wholes in math, they just seem to kind of swallow every "thing" us. I mean its the Infinite Being of a God that would be an all consuming fire, swallowing up the identities and Being of all else in existence. This universe will collapse and be swallowed up in the infinite nothingness from which it has been parceled out. In math class, at least in junior high, if you brought an Infinite into an equation everything else just disappeared.

I don't know what to tell you SG, Infinities just seem to have a specific purpose, I can agree infinities might exist in some creative ways, mathematical cul de sac slight of hands, infinity mirrors I suppose, but I just can't seem to align one with any thing finite without watching such finitude cease to exist, simply because, and this might be philosophical, But THAT is what Infinities do, consume everything.

But it is possible that I do not exist, so my opinions might not either.