Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Challenge to Quantum Physicists and Cosmologists from Asbestos Head

Logically, if you divide a second in half and in half again and again, this process continues forever. Likewise, if you divide a chunk of matter in half again and again, there should always be half your last division left over. And mathematicians agree that any number but zero may be divided ad infinitum. Quantum theorists, however, think the process of dividing time and matter reaches its end long before infinity. At some point far past their ability to see, they claim there’s a fundamental particle of matter and a fundamental unit of time of which there is nothing smaller or shorter.

Since it’s crucial to higher math, but impossible to prove or disprove, mathematicians assume infinity in their equations. Likewise, science can never prove nor disprove the necessary fundamentality of any supposed fundamental particle, but every time someone gets a new microscope they think they’ve found the end. I propose instead of always supposing they’ve reached the limit, why don’t scientists take after mathematicians and assume infinity in their experiments? By all means continue the further telescoping and magnification of matter, but concede that each time We’ve seen further into the macro and micro-unknown, technology throws down the gauntlet, and God picks it up with seemingly infinite resources, from galaxies and quasars to stars and planets, moons down through molecules to atoms and protons and quarks and gluons and so on and so forth. The fractal unknown forever taunts Our limited perceptions from afar, no matter how deep We reach, so why not assume infinity until We’re somehow given real reason not to?

Science can only prove what We can test with tools and Our senses, but it’s more likely that ultimate answers lie far beyond Our perceptions and any tools We can fashion to aid them. Even if some Unified Field Theory proved perfectly consistent with Our every observation, I’d still be suspicious of some finite answer’s eerie consistency, and forever wonder if something undetectable lay one step further. Personally the only Unified Theory that satisfies my deepest concerns is Infinity as Truth in all facets of existence. Matter is infinitely divisible, time is eternal, and speed is limitless for something We can’t see. I present Infinity as the Anti-Unified Field Theory, a concept We grasp but can’t understand - it dangles around Our minds taunting Us with its necessary Truths but never allows Us access to it’s eternal complexity, like God.

The blasphemy scientists are committing is eliminating the infinite aspects of Our Universe. Einstein thinks light’s the fastest thing, Planck thinks strings are the smallest and shortest things, Hawking thinks the big bang’s the first thing, I think they’re all limiting themselves trying to stop one step before infinity.

We’ve already observed instantaneous, non-local correlation in entangled particles, some physicists insist there exist tachyons faster than light, others say halos around black hole event horizons break the barrier due to time dilation. Whatever the explanation We keep pulling over for Einstein’s ultimate speed limit. Then quantum theorists step-up and create one-dimensional superstrings that walk the Planck between quantum mechanics and Einstienian relativity. Finally, cosmologists and astronomers play their finite observations in rewind and find a Big Bang Beginning as inexplicable and unsatisfying as you’d expect from science.

The frantic search for fundamental particles, universal boundaries, other endings and attempts to finitize the Anything into sets of symbols shows a human fear of infinity that’s driven many crazy. Reality may be finite and expressible, but if it isn’t then We’ll all die believing whatever current chaotic theory they throw at infinity instead of honoring its integrity, by believing it over any inconsistent set of finite meanderings.

Why is it that so many truly important math equations, scientific theories, and philosophical refutations end in an infinite regress? We always take this as a sign of failure when it could be the answer popping up over and over again. Science, Mathematics, and Philosophy give opposite requirements for proof and Truth. For a scientific theory, mathematical formula, or logical argument to be proven it must contain the ability to be falsified so that experimentation can further refine it’s validity. But Truth by necessity cannot be disproved, and thus would not contain the ability to be falsified. So if Truth was looking your theory straight in the eyes, the institution shuts it down - an unfalsifiable theory cannot be tested and what cannot be tested cannot be verified true. So if ultimate Truth lay in infinity, which I assure you it does, science will never concede it; it’s up to you.

The origin of the Universe endows necessary Truth on one of two equally unfathomable options: an uncaused cause or infinity. Rationally they are mutually exclusive but equally valid - neither makes sense, and one of them is right. Thus a rationally based decision to your personal opinion of the origin of the Universe leads to an impasse.

Emotionally, however a decision can be made for, infinity feels awe-inspiring in its complex simplicity whereas an uncaused cause is an incomprehensible paradox and feels like betrayal. A first cause is a He, She, or It out there above rationality and causality, necessitating hierarchy on nature. But infinity is Us, Our Universe, all matter in perpetual motion and interaction together. You know where I stand. Plato said there’s too many slaves in caves; I say there’s too many people in houses these days. The walls are keeping Us separate and the roofs are scaring out infinity. Goodnight.”

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muzuzuzus said...

Thus I am comfortable with the 'idea' that reality can be both finite and in~finite

Tao said...

((muzuzuzus your ideas are finite so thereby induce their opposite or "non them". Combine the finite with the non and you have the infinite.))

---- The whole debate arises from a false start, that time or space have any values at all. That we believe time and space have units of measure then we meet the infinite/finite trap, when in fact time and space have no such dimensions of measureability, they are fabrications.

There is no time or space. There is no need for infinity. If you look out far enough you will arrive at the back of your eyes.

* Disclaimer: This mystical view is not suited to language or logic.

Torq said...


However, we can walk the stairway of Logic towards Truth, even though we can never reach the end. Our knowledge walks not the path of the infinite regress, but rather on the edge of the asymptote.

Eric, I disagree with you and say that we are not infinite, and this is why we cannot truly understand infinity. We are small and finite, but we don't have to take that too seriously because our universe is necessarily finite as well, an infinite regress of matter is causally impossible.

Tao: If space and time are fabrications, who are they fabricated by? You say, "If you look out far enough you will arrive at the back of your eyes" but is not this an infinity of vision? The limited infinity of circularity? I grant you your disclaimer, but am still interested in your explanation.

Tao said...

""TORQ -- Tao: If space and time are fabrications, who are they fabricated by? You say, "If you look out far enough you will arrive at the back of your eyes" but is not this an infinity of vision? The limited infinity of circularity? I grant you your disclaimer, but am still interested in your explanation.""

I mean by looking far enough you will meet the back of your eyes, not in a physical sense, but that 'all is looking', the seen and the see'er are one, the split that they are separate is a further fabrication. Time and space are fabrications of the one mind that we are aspects of and share and have full access to once we drop limits that bar us. Starting with concepts keeps you from the goal.

The same with measuring the universe, you will meet the finite/infinite trap. In fact to begin measurement you make a grand assumption and from that block the possibility of finding truth. That the universe has no size or form, it is mind and can manifest those qualities, but therefore they are not "real". Nothing but the one undivided, is.

aeolus kephas said...

very nicely summed up - charles fort: "the seeker of truth: he may never find it. But dimmest of all possibilities, he may himself become truth." Ditto Infinity.

Tao said...

nice to see you here aeolus, i have heard most of your shows. I also like this Wei Wu Wei quote which is similar: "The seeker is the found, the found is the seeker - as soon as it is apperceived that there is no time."

plus something by Alan Watts when he quotes Blake: "the fool who persists in his folly will become wise." and says the same about philosophers, to philosophise until you find you have walked all possible paths and the answer was right there.

and again Wei Wu Wei "Are we not wasps who spend all day in a fruitless attempt to traverse a window-pane - while the other half of the window is wide open?" and "A man who is seeking for realisation is not only going round searching for his spectacles without realising that they are on his nose all the time, but also were he not actually looking through them he would not be able to see what he is looking for!"

Tao said...

Conciousness and infinity and so on (movie) you may find that interesting :)

Torq said...

Tao: Sorry it has taken me awhile to get back to you (intermittent internet). I don't actually disagree with what you are saying here. The one caution that I feel is important is that it can be dangerous to say that "Starting with concepts keeps you from the goal," (Tao). While the goal may be beyond conception it is necessary to explore the concepts, otherwise one couldn't move beyond them. The beginning may in fact be the end, but you can't really find that out until you have actually begun.

I do also want to say that logic and philosophy are necessary. The failure which we experience in philosophy is the failure of language not of philosophy itself.

Tao said...

@Torq, Yes I'd agree with you mostly there too. We said something similar on Erics Esoterics blog regarding this and it is the case that you must walk the path to know the path. Someone who has tried very hard to answer the biggest questions in life is certainly much further that someone who did nothing. Even though neither has an answer, one of them is certainly going to be more wise.