20080902

If the Universe were actually infinite, then what would it look like?

Jim Nibblett asks the above question and quotes TSW (p. 187) as:

"Only in the idealist's finite universe surrounded by "empty space" and governed by separability, does motion without matter escape into the void, never to return. Thus separated from its motion, the matter in this imagined universe reaches a perfect, final equilibrium in which its various parts attain a state of eternal rest."

And writes:

"So we agree completely. To me it's all about control volumes. You can make them as big as you like. I like 2GM/R if I remember right. Put up a control volume that size and position it such that we're at the middle of it. One then can say those magical words "assuming equilibrium conditions exist" and Poof! just as much stuff escapes from the control volume as falls into it. All done, case closed."

Jim, you have to realize that my “control volume” is infinite. Any actual number would imply, instead, that the universe was finite. It is the kind of thing one would do if one believed that the galactic redshift actually was evidence for universal expansion. It is not. It simply is evidence for absorption over distance within the ether. Even the Doppler interpretation requires a medium. In my idea of an infinite universe, “equilibrium conditions” never really exist. All portions of the infinite universe are in motion with respect to all other portions of the universe. That is the nature of the motion of matter. On the other hand, your “control volume” idea, with input and output being identical, is compatible with my paper on the “Resolution of the SLT-Order Paradox” available for free download at: (http://www.scientificphilosophy.com/Downloads/SLTOrder.pdf). The convergence of matter in one place theoretically is equivalent to the divergence of matter in another place. So again, we agree, except that I don’t see much value in doing math on that which is infinite.

Macrocosmic infinity implies microcosmic infinity. All things have an infinite number of things inside them as well as an infinite number of things outside them. Infinity, then, is an endless begging of the question. This is why we will never find out what “matter” really is. Matter always consists of other matter in motion. You get the same answer no matter how much subdividing you do. There are no partless parts. When you think about it, this is the only way the universe could be—an endless passing of the buck. This view implies that “pure empty space” is only an idea, and thus cannot exist, just as “pure solid matter” is only an idea, and thus cannot exist. So you can see why I don’t believe in all the idealistic speculation involving an expanding and contracting universe. The proposed multiverses and parallel universes are even worse ways of shirking INFINITY simply to comply with the erroneous assumptions of the conventional view. They don’t even follow the standard definition of the universe as “all that exists.”

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The universe might be infinite. But the "Tired Light" paradigm is a bad one. Light does not diminish in frequency over distance. This has never been demonstrated. Light diminishes in intensity, not frequency, over distance. The best explanation we currently have is the Big Bang theory. If you believe the universe is infinite, you need to develop falsifiable hypotheses rather than make philosophical conjectures.

Glenn Borchardt said...

From Jim Nibblet:

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2008
If the Universe were actually infinite, then what would it look like?
Jim Nibblett asks the above question and quotes TSW (p. 187) as:

"Only in the idealist's finite universe surrounded by "empty space" and governed by separability, does motion without matter escape into the void, never to return. Thus separated from its motion, the matter in this imagined universe reaches a perfect, final equilibrium in which its various parts attain a state of eternal rest."

And writes:

"So we agree completely. To me it's all about control volumes. You can make them as big as you like. I like 2GM/R if I remember right. Put up a control volume that size and position it such that we're at the middle of it. One then can say those magical words "assuming equilibrium conditions exist" and Poof! just as much stuff escapes from the control volume as falls into it. All done, case closed."

Jim, you have to realize that my “control volume” is infinite. Any actual number would imply, instead, that the universe was finite.

Glenn, let’s separate out a few things first. While we agree that the Universe is infinite, getting to a place of confidence and security in talking about the infinite in ways that are both graspable and useful is quite a challenge. Let me show you what I mean, first on the one hand then on the other In a class with other Chemical Engineering students, the Professor tried to impress on us how big a billion was, comparing it as one foot compared to the distance to the moon, a nickel as compares to a lifetime’s earnings or so many seconds as compares to a lifetime. None of the comparisons really worked – on the one hand – and on the other hand, these kids had a better grasp of the meaning of a part in a billion than most.

This choice that I made of scale for the control volume as 2GM / R was arbitrary … but neither capricious nor trivial. There are things that happen at this particular distance scale that don’t apply in other cases. Consider this:

In an infinite Universe, sources of light may be positioned at the surface of this control volume and all those sources pointed at our location and turned on all at once. Well, actually no; we can’t position sources there but on average there are going to be some galaxies close to the surface of our control volume doing that job. With those light sources in place, we note that no light gets to us from any of those sources. With these sources inside the control volume, we get to see their light.

Space is infinite, the path of light is not. The subdivision of space I spoke of just now is to say that there is an infinite number of these control volume, corresponding to a central point and keeping in mind that light can travel less far (before hitting its black hole limit) than light traveling through emptier space. I think, Glenn, that we avoid the kind of presentation you made with your statement that your control volume is infinite. With the 2GM/R control volume you get to do things unavailable in different scales.




It is the kind of thing one would do if one believed that the galactic redshift actually was evidence for universal expansion. It is not. It simply is evidence for absorption over distance within the ether. Even the Doppler interpretation requires a medium.

As for the requirement of a medium, that’s one you could kick around for a long time. My own thought on this has to do with what people need and that could relate back to either a medium for the passage of an energetic disturbance or a birthday for the Universe. I think we have to back up for a moment before thrashing forward. The acclamation of redshift as stemming only from recessional velocity is, of course, a paranoid delusion deriving from abandonment issues.


In my idea of an infinite universe, “equilibrium conditions” never really exist. All portions of the infinite universe are in motion with respect to all other portions of the universe. That is the nature of the motion of matter. On the other hand, your “control volume” idea, with input and output being identical, is compatible with my paper on the “Resolution of the SLT-Order Paradox” available for free download at: (http://www.scientificphilosophy.com/Downloads/SLTOrder.pdf). The convergence of matter in one place theoretically is equivalent to the divergence of matter in another place. So again, we agree, except that I don’t see much value in doing math on that which is infinite.

I hope you see now that I’m wedging my argument within the observable universe but paying due respect to the limitlessness of the Universe. Thus, the math deals with the finite as it might pertain to an infinite Universe and is therefore pertinent to the discussion. As easy as that sounds, there are almost ‘diplomatic’ considerations. Chief among these is the fact that book sales are cut in half for every equation found in such a book. So it might seem that to use math is antithetical to sales. I have a hunch that, if instead of laying down equations in the book proper, one were to explain relationships and present these relationships as (or in terms of) graphs.

As for motion, there’s the movement of galaxies and there’s the movement of electrons; the former quite deterministic and seemingly purposeful; the latter more like the sea through which ships pass but without the density that allows ballast to have value in steering. By this, I mean that the combination of tiny mass (meaning high speed) and the severity of their hatred for each other validates the statement “Nature abhors a vacuum.”


Now when you write:


Macrocosmic infinity implies microcosmic infinity. All things have an infinite number of things inside them as well as an infinite number of things outside them. Infinity, then, is an endless begging of the question. This is why we will never find out what “matter” really is. Matter always consists of other matter in motion. You get the same answer no matter how much subdividing you do. There are no partless parts. When you think about it, this is the only way the universe could be—an endless passing of the buck. This view implies that “pure empty space” is only an idea, and thus cannot exist, just as “pure solid matter” is only an idea, and thus cannot exist. So you can see why I don’t believe in all the idealistic speculation involving an expanding and contracting universe. The proposed multiverses and parallel universes are even worse ways of shirking INFINITY simply to comply with the erroneous assumptions of the conventional view. They don’t even follow the standard definition of the universe as “all that exists.”

You are, in my opinion, doing yourself and the construct of an infinite Universe no favors. To require of the Universe that it spread out in one dimension or space in one domain and thus it must be filigreed in another, is to make demands on the Universe. If both are true, fine and dandy. But this is like the symmetry arguments that were so popular some time back. We’d do better (by far) to only turn over rocks when we need to, let the sleeping dogs stay asleep and generally not pick fights unless or until it becomes necessary. One such is Parallel Universes, another would be the notion of ideas (as well as the idea of notions), another might be the twins of ‘pure solid matter’ and ‘pure empty space.’ In the right circumstance, any one of these could amount to ‘fighting words’ to someone and, most likely, that will be the end of that – at least in terms of anything useful. Past that, you needn’t chastise me about conformation to the extant paradigm. I look to conform to the laws, not to the ‘considered opinions,’ or what ‘is widely held.’

I’ll close here because I’m tired and I might be catching something. I look forward to your reply.

Jim

Glenn Borchardt said...

Jim:

I like your statement: “The acclamation of redshift as stemming only from recessional velocity is, of course, a paranoid delusion deriving from abandonment issues.” I really hadn’t thought of it that way before. There is a grain of truth in it, especially if one connects that idea with the general solipsism common to the pre-Copernican worldview, which, today is dressed up as “systems philosophy.”

As you read TSW, you will find many “fighting words,” as you say. This is because I have tried to make a clear distinction between determinism and indeterminism as opposite sides of the philosophical struggle. Chapter 3 explains the ten assumptions that I use as a foundation for my analysis. This is the most difficult and most important chapter in the book. It is difficult because most people have been taught the opposing assumptions from birth and have had a lot of practice with them. People who use the opposing assumptions should not agree with any of my conclusions, if they are being logical. Many will pick and choose among them, but they won’t get the consistent result that is TSW. Looking forward to your review of the book…

Glenn

Glenn Borchardt said...

Anonymous wrote:

“The universe might be infinite. But the "Tired Light" paradigm is a bad one. Light does not diminish in frequency over distance. This has never been demonstrated. Light diminishes in intensity, not frequency, over distance. The best explanation we currently have is the Big Bang theory. If you believe the universe is infinite, you need to develop falsifiable hypotheses rather than make philosophical conjectures.”

Don’t be to sure. The one constant in all the universe is that all things are changing at all times. Frequency, velocity, mass, you name it. If you consider light to be a particle, then it is subject to collisions with other particles, and thus will be slowed down by those collisions. If you consider light to be wave motion in a particulate medium, as I do, then it must follow the laws of wave motion. The frequency of wave motion in a medium tends to decrease with distance. For instance, the waves produce by a pebble dropped in a pond will become longer over distance. Seismic waves and sound waves do the same, eventually being completed scattered and absorbed in the medium. Otherwise, California earthquakes would shake up the folks in Chicago and LA’s road noise would be heard in SF. The shift from high energy, high frequency white light to low energy, low frequency red light is just what we expect for inter-galactic distances. The absorption is not very significant within our galaxy. If it was, we would see mostly red stars in the Milky Way and galaxies would not be visible at all, for their light would be absorbed before it reached Earth.

The Big Bang Theory has been falsified numerous times (I list many of the references in TSW and there are links on my website), but it persists simply because it fits current “philosophical conjectures,” which I have pointed out, are based on popular indeterministic assumptions. The idea that the universe exploded out of nothing is the grandest conjecture of all. Don’t you have just the slightest inkling that there could be something wrong with it?

Anonymous said...

Could there be something wrong with the Big Bang theory? Of course there could. The notion of exploding out of nothing is hard to imagine. It's also hard to imagine something that has existed for an infinite number of years into the past. Both boggle the mind.

So rather than worry about ultimate causes, let's consider simple, falsifiable scientific hypotheses. IF the earth revolves around the sun, THEN there should be a stellar parallax. Like that. Aristotle's conclusion wasn't a bad one. It was just incorrect. He judged from the evidence then available.

If it turns out galaxies aren't really moving away from one another, I'll be happy. But at present, we have to completely change the laws of physics in order to explain it otherwise. You say, "frequency decreases with distance" and draw parallels to sound, water, and earthquake waves. But do these waves decrease in frequency? They decrease in intensity. I can't hear San Francisco's traffic because the intensity is drowned out. The frequency is identical. It's just very, very quiet. Spectrally-similar stars in the Milky Way that are closer to us are less bright, but the same color, as those further away. Earthquake waves reverberate around the world forever at the same frequency, but their intensity is imperceptible.

Basically, at present, if you avoid the absurdity of the initial explosion, the intermediate causality of the Big Bang is more palpable than the intermediate causality of an infinite universe. Science is only concerned with intermediate causalities. Final causality is a topic for philosophers and theologians.

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