Infinite vs Finite Logic
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01-05-2017, 04:26 PM
Infinite vs Finite Logic
I need someone smarter than me to tell me if I'm wrong about something that seems completely obvious.

Neil degrasse Tyson said on star talk that because we don't know how big the universe is, he says it is infinite. I think this is wrong. The answer is surely that we don't know.

Today I got into a debate in Facebook about this, where someone disagreed with me and stated that because we don't know that the universe is finite, it follows that it must be infinite. This has to be nonsense. The universe is finite or infinite whether we are able to find out or not.
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01-05-2017, 04:28 PM
RE: Infinite vs Finite Logic
(01-05-2017 04:26 PM)Saucy Jack Wrote:  I need someone smarter than me to tell me if I'm wrong about something that seems completely obvious.

Neil degrasse Tyson said on star talk that because we don't know how big the universe is, he says it is infinite. I think this is wrong. The answer is surely that we don't know.

Today I got into a debate in Facebook about this, where someone disagreed with me and stated that because we don't know that the universe is finite, it follows that it must be infinite. This has to be nonsense. The universe is finite or infinite whether we are able to find out or not.

I agree with you, and I suspect Tyson is being misquoted (or misunderstood), because he knows better than that.
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01-05-2017, 04:33 PM
RE: Infinite vs Finite Logic
(01-05-2017 04:28 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(01-05-2017 04:26 PM)Saucy Jack Wrote:  I need someone smarter than me to tell me if I'm wrong about something that seems completely obvious.

Neil degrasse Tyson said on star talk that because we don't know how big the universe is, he says it is infinite. I think this is wrong. The answer is surely that we don't know.

Today I got into a debate in Facebook about this, where someone disagreed with me and stated that because we don't know that the universe is finite, it follows that it must be infinite. This has to be nonsense. The universe is finite or infinite whether we are able to find out or not.

I agree with you, and I suspect Tyson is being misquoted (or misunderstood), because he knows better than that.

I heard him myself. It was on space-time cosmic queries from 3rd March
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01-05-2017, 04:39 PM
RE: Infinite vs Finite Logic
(01-05-2017 04:33 PM)Saucy Jack Wrote:  
(01-05-2017 04:28 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  I agree with you, and I suspect Tyson is being misquoted (or misunderstood), because he knows better than that.

I heard him myself. It was on space-time cosmic queries from 3rd March

How exact is the quote, though? It's hard to believe he would say exactly that and mean it literally. Maybe he meant "effectively infinite" or something like that.

However, there is also the concept of "bounded but infinite" -- like the set of real numbers between 1 and 2. I'm not sure if that concept applies to space, but it might.

Logically, though, I agree with your reasoning.
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01-05-2017, 04:40 PM
RE: Infinite vs Finite Logic
(01-05-2017 04:26 PM)Saucy Jack Wrote:  I need someone smarter than me to tell me if I'm wrong about something that seems completely obvious.

Neil degrasse Tyson said on star talk that because we don't know how big the universe is, he says it is infinite. I think this is wrong. The answer is surely that we don't know.

Today I got into a debate in Facebook about this, where someone disagreed with me and stated that because we don't know that the universe is finite, it follows that it must be infinite. This has to be nonsense. The universe is finite or infinite whether we are able to find out or not.

First off a link to where you claim he said that would help.

But even if I agreed, my take on it is that a cognition would not be required as a starting point either way. I think even he would agree with that.

I don't see infinite or finite as either or, much less requiring a super cognition to set in motion.

I see "all this" as merely a giant pattern fluctuating between on and off. The on can be temporary, and the off can be temporary, but the entire cycle between could be infinite.

Your light switch does not stay on forever, nor does your light switch stay off forever, but I can see the cycle between on and off, being infinite. I don't see how the universe should be viewed differently than the seasons changing on the planet.

If I am not correct, QM and M theory are suggesting even with multiple universes, bubble theory, "all this" could be like boiling water that simply evaporates back to zero only to decay to another quantum twitch to lead to another big bang.

But we don't know how big the universe is. And Neil is right about that. We once thought that our galaxy was the extent of it until we developed bigger telescopes. It seems infinite from our point of view and from that perspective I agree with Neil. But, I don't think QM is really arguing infinite vs finite, but more overlap.

Lawrence Krauss makes the argument that something can come out of nothing. I think it can be viewed akin to dead trees and leaves in the summer heat, one spark and you get a fire.

Poetry by Brian37(poems by an atheist) Also on Facebook as BrianJames Rational Poet and Twitter Brianrrs37
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01-05-2017, 04:44 PM
RE: Infinite vs Finite Logic
(01-05-2017 04:40 PM)Brian37 Wrote:  Lawrence Krauss makes the argument that something can come out of nothing. I think it can be viewed akin to dead trees and leaves in the summer heat, one spark and you get a fire.

"Something from Nothing" is the fact of spontaneous formation of an electron-positron pair from a photon.
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01-05-2017, 04:46 PM
RE: Infinite vs Finite Logic
Seems I misquoted Tyson a little. He said he calls it infinite because there's no reason to believe otherwise at the moment.
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01-05-2017, 04:48 PM (This post was last modified: 01-05-2017 04:52 PM by true scotsman.)
RE: Infinite vs Finite Logic
(01-05-2017 04:26 PM)Saucy Jack Wrote:  I need someone smarter than me to tell me if I'm wrong about something that seems completely obvious.

Neil degrasse Tyson said on star talk that because we don't know how big the universe is, he says it is infinite. I think this is wrong. The answer is surely that we don't know.

Today I got into a debate in Facebook about this, where someone disagreed with me and stated that because we don't know that the universe is finite, it follows that it must be infinite. This has to be nonsense. The universe is finite or infinite whether we are able to find out or not.

I would say you're right. There can not be an actual infinite. Infinite means of no specific quantity just bigger than any quantity we could ever count. However big the universe is, it is that big and only that big. However many galaxies there are there are that quantity and no more or no less. I think that the concept of infinity can only denote a potential to take a number series out indefinitely. It's the same with the concept "man". An infinite number of men can be subsumed by it, we could potentially keep integrating units into the concept forever, but however many men are in existence, there is that number and no more. Your debate partner's statement is obviously a non sequitur. If we don't know how many men are actually in existence, does this mean the number is infinite? I don't think so. It's too bad though because I'm not sure how many dollars are in my wallet right now without looking. I wish it meant that the number was infinite.Smile

It hurts my brain trying to think of what the edge of the universe would be like. Is it a line we can't cross like a force field? Is it a barbed wire fence? Or is the universe expanding at such a rate that we could never get there? I don't know.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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01-05-2017, 04:51 PM
RE: Infinite vs Finite Logic
(01-05-2017 04:44 PM)Fireball Wrote:  
(01-05-2017 04:40 PM)Brian37 Wrote:  Lawrence Krauss makes the argument that something can come out of nothing. I think it can be viewed akin to dead trees and leaves in the summer heat, one spark and you get a fire.

"Something from Nothing" is the fact of spontaneous formation of an electron-positron pair from a photon.

Yea. If we are talking about an "ultimate" truth, with all the multiverse theories and bubble theories and parallel universe theories, and 12 possible dimensions,I still have a tendency to lean to even all that being finite in like a "all this" pot of boiling bubbling water, that when it runs out of energy, like dry wood in extreme heat it becomes kindling.

My take on infinite vs finite is that it is neither and both at the same time.

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01-05-2017, 04:52 PM
RE: Infinite vs Finite Logic
I was mainly checking that my logic was sound. The guy on Facebook was ascerting that if we don't know where the universe ends, that it is not finite by definition. I say that this is illogical. It's like saying the answer is either A or B but because we don't know whether or not it's A it has to be B.
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