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Author Topic: How was the real universe created?  (Read 22796 times)
Shinryuu
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Re: How was the real universe created?
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2003, 09:00:39 pm »

this is just a little related speculation, but...
okay. suppose space is inflating at light speed or a hair under from the big zappy howevermany billions of years ago. I've forgotten and it's the morning so i don't remember. Now, by the theory of relativity, less time from an observer at the edge of inflating space has passed than from somebody at space zero, wherever that is.
Therefore, if another observer from earth could somehow teleport to the edge of the universe, would he be going back in time?
Err... well... yeah. that's about the biggest quandary my less-than-fully-physics-aware brain is capable of.
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Re: How was the real universe created?
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2003, 10:27:33 pm »

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Somebody flick Kohr-Ah's rant switch off please ...  Tongue


Well if it helps, I've been punished for my ranting by having my puter fall apart, and am forced to login from the public library.

Bugger.

But yes, life is here because it can't not be.
And yes, tThe universe was created because it couldn't not be, once it got over the hump of whether or not absolutely nothing exists and had no meaning and never did and never would.

And you are right Luki, I think it is just because I often feel like if I read someone typing the words 'Matrix style' even one more time in their essay, poses, stories, posts, etc...I will go absolutely raving mad. As in far beyond just-conducting-genocide-mad.
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Re: How was the real universe created?
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2003, 10:37:55 pm »

You think you're talking science here, but it's as much religion as saying $GOD made the universe.
When people find a plausible explaination, they often just assume that's the correct one (I catch myself doing it too sometimes).
I'm refering in particular to Kohr-Ah_Primate (eg. "The universe came into existence simply because there was no other option.") and The_Ultimate_Evil (eg. "No, but seriously you are right.").
Even if an explanation is plausible; it might not be the only plausible explanation. And the correct explanation may not even be the most plausible one.

That being said, let's view Kohr-Ah_Primate's religion as a theory for a moment.
She claims the universe comes into existence because there was no other option. Yet she herself mentions that there could have been no universe at all. That sounds like another option to me.

Kohr-Ah_Primate offers the choice between "No universe at all" and "an infinite number of universes". But there's also the possibility of having one or several universes. In fact, you could take together the infinite number of universes and call them "the universe".

A point both Kohr-Ah_Primate and The_Ultimate_Evil make is that, as space and time are infinite, everything that could happen will sometime, somewhere, happen. There are some problems with that.
First of all, it is unknown whether space and time are infinite.
Second, even if space and time are infinite, that doesn't mean that all infinite different possibilities will happen. Apart from the question whether it's really a matter of chance what happens, the infinities of space and time are not necessarilly of the same order as the infinities of the different possibilities. For example, if every second, somehow a random rational number is chosen (leaving aside how it would be possible to randomly pick a number from an infinite set), it doesn't matter how many seconds pass, but some rational numbers will never be chosen, because the number of rational numbers is uncountable, while the number of seconds is countable.
Third, space and time are facets of this universe, hence you cannot use them in explaining why the universe exists.

Kohr-Ah_Primate's mentioned a "50/50 chance of -any- reality existing at all". I've heard this said in a joke once. A man who claims he's got a 50/50 chance of winning the lottery; either he wins, or he doesn't. I don't think I need to waste more words on this.

A valid point that Kohr-Ah_Primate makes (at least I think that's what she's saying) is that the fact that you exist can't be used to say anything about the possibilities of you existing. Because you exist.
From your point of view at least, because I don't know for sure you do. Which brings us to René Descartes. His conclusion was that all you can really know to exist is yourself. "I think, therefore I am" is his line.

As for using the Matrix as a point of reference; does it matter that the idea is not original? Why is it so irritating to you (Kohr-Ah_Primate) that people use a popular image to bring across an idea. In the end, does it really matter who stated the idea first? The Wachowski brothers do not claim that they invented the idea.

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Re: How was the real universe created?
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2003, 11:05:33 pm »

i think kohr-ah is annoyed because the matrix is cliche.
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Re: How was the real universe created?
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2003, 11:54:05 pm »

Could it be that Fred Ford created this universe as well?

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Re: How was the real universe created?
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2003, 01:47:04 am »

Pretty much it, Shinryuu. Too many folk just using it as a convenient description. It becomes cliche.

and meep, I was throwing in 'infinite possibilities' and 'infinite realities' and 'infinite dimensions' just to stress not just the insane size of the universe itself but the infinite number of actual universes as well.

And I stressed about three or four times that the initial hump to get over was whether or not there would be utter nothingness and oblivion (a complete lack any reference point and even the absence of any absence of anything present with which to give a non-existent universe meaning) or an infinite set of universes and possibilities and etc.

I know you say that there just might be a finite number of universes/possibilities/etc. I'm not even going to argue the issue with you because I'm not well-equipped to do so.

All I can say is that we cannot even remotely comprehend or grasp the absolute scope or variation or possibilities that exist even in this one universe let alone an infinite number of them. I think people overvalue the worth of logic or physics or even simple arithmetic in which to define the universe, for I honestly believe there are possibilities of universes where even simple math doesn't work, and the laws of these have no meaning. In this universe, at least, those methods of measuring and quanitifying everything we vainly attempt to grasp in our inadequate minds, those methods are probably the best way to go, and will probably serve us the best in the course of our lives which I doubt with utter sincerity we will ever need for other means of defining/measuring/quantifying.

You say that for every second you count a rational number, and even into infinity you will never count an irrational number. But this is considering the fact that you dwell within a universe that is consigned to these laws of physics and these laws of arithmetic and whatnot. I believe that there are other eventualities, other universes, other realities, even other times, where irrational and rational numbers will lack meaning.

I don't think of my earlier rant as religion. I think of it as a theory. An utterly unproveable, theoretical examination of an aspect of our universe, but still a theory.

If you wish to think of what I said as 'religion' then I am not going to tell you to think otherwise. But I certainly will not demand that other people believe what I say.

I just like to theorize in my spare time and challenge my mind. Everything I've said in the rant was based around my opinion and conjecture.

So I apologize if for some people it's come off as a decree.

It's not meant to.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2003, 01:53:49 am by Kohr-Ah_Primat » Logged

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Re: How was the real universe created?
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2003, 03:54:01 am »

The major problem with trying to understand this stuff is simply that the human mind is not equiped to understand the universe. Why? The human brain relates everything to do with distance and size in relative terms. If you see a picture of a featureless square block, you have no idea how big it is until you see a human standing beside it (or some other object that your brain can relate back to a human).

The human mind cannot do this when thinking about the distance from Earth to Alpha Centauri, or the distance around the galaxy, around the group of galaxies around us, and out into space for infinity. It is impossible to grasp the true meaning of that distance, and it is impossible to grasp the true meaning of infinite time.

Let me ask you something, If space is not infinite. Then what happens when you reach the limit of finite space? Is there a wall? If there is a wall, what is past that wall? There must be something...

To Meep-eep

Your logic is slightly flawed about probability. The reason why we can say that the probability of life forming sometime, somewhere in the Universe is because we have modeled the conditions of the "primordial soup" and have determined that life can form in those conditions.

The question of how probable it is for life to form will determine if we are alone in the universe or not, maybe it will take close to an infinite amount of time for another sentient race to emerge, or maybe it will take 5 seconds.

Personally I do not believe in religion, and I don't neccessarly believe in the big bang, or whatever other theory is proposed for Universe creation. I just know that it is here, and it is very likely that we will never understand it (or will take close to an infinite amount of time if we do understand it).

There is nothing wrong with believing in religious explanations, if that "does it" for you... But that is an entirely different discussion.
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Re: How was the real universe created?
« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2003, 04:42:13 am »

I want to weigh in with a little response, I hope it will be received in the thoughtful spirit in which I think it is entered.

It has always bothered me that people are so willing to accept the bounds of the mind, that is to say, we could never comprehend, then sit back and call it a useless quest.  Or, to use it as a fun thing upon which to set the mind, trying to "comprehend infinity."

The thing is, to break these arguments down, isn't it something that we even comprehend infinity?  That we can be overwhelmed in our minds, recognize limits, know boundaries and creatively posit, even the most brilliant among us, that somewhere, lying just out of reach is something else?  Every generation reaches further in trying to gain what is just out of reach and yet comes back more discouraged, seeming to understand the limits of the mind.  Haven't we gotten to the point at which we question even rational thought then?  We question the entire range of our sensory experiences and the way we process information.  Everything is an exercise in futility and lies then, basically, so many intelligent, logical people seem quite willing to accept the triumph of nihilism, nothing really exists, it is all just lies, things we have created--the horizons falling away.

Nietzsche ended up at that same conclusion, but at least he decided it was absolutely necessary, indeed it was ***the most important step in the history of mankind, in the history of the entire universe*** (and perhaps, sadly, I believe as the center of his theory, the least quotable, or pithily understandable of his thoughts) for man to go on and find the answer anyway--even to create the answer.  He felt, realized that there was a compulsion within all man to understand his bearings, to question, wonder, aspire, and truly find the answer--even in a desperate sense, not merely as sport, or assuming there is no answer, twiddling with this fun theory or that.  

I realize that his sort of compulsion is the one that often drives people into madness--I admit that understand what he was trying to say--and I believe every person understands the glimmerings of this at a basic level.  Whenever man is faced with suffering, and sometimes more rarely when faced with pleasure--the response is why--the pre-eminent question of all children, also: "why?" We are born "whying" our way into the universe--it seems so sad to me that everything tries to dull our asking, dull our seeking of an answer, or give us some low, base answer that does not befit our humanity.

I understand, it is easier to live with the dulled sense of that, it is in fact impossible to carry on always grappling and wrestling--I appreciate that so many of you, so intelligent and feeling still ask that question--but I put forward a question of my own--what is that why?  Isn't it the truly pre-rational?  Of course you can't answer that, because if it were, you would not be aware of it when it was, it is a trick question I suppose, but still--does that why ever really go away?  And even more, isn't that what truly and uniquely makes us human, now that we understand monkeys and dolphins all have rational thought?  Why the why?  

Or, in other words, in sum: don't take a low answer, and don't take no answer--otherwise, this life you live, truly you are aware you live it and you make it liveable, but you give it up for pointless, and understanding nothing else, the sheer beauty of what is about and around you and the exquisite pain of the experience should prick you to admitting that it ought not be meaningless: it is truly an opportunity of which you should avail yourself.  

Don't know what kind of response I'm expecting, it was simply something I wanted to say.
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Re: How was the real universe created?
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2003, 06:57:34 am »

All this talk about something outside the universe is pure speculation -- by definition, we cannot percieve anything outside our existence.  If we percieve it, it is part of our universe.  Please note that I am using "universe" to include alternate dimensions we might one day contact.

As for probability:  to the best of modern scientific knowledge, the probability of life forming without outside intervention is roughly the same as the probability of a tornado going through a junkyard and forming a fully functional 747.  Or any functional machine, for that matter.  Entropy is the ovverriding principle by which our universe works; without an active force to counteract it amino acids would NOT join together and make the stuff of life.  Thus, the only logical answer is a Creator.
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Re: How was the real universe created?
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2003, 07:22:04 am »

Of course, the problem with the entropy arguement is that it ignores that earth is not a closed system.  The law of thermodynamics dealing with entropy is meant to be applied only to closed systems.  Huge quanitities of energy are constantly coming into the earth from the sun, as well as quantities of matter from space.  Attempting to apply the principle of entropy to the earth, without accounting for the rest of the universe, is therefore an incorrect application of the law.  As long as the decrease in entropy via life is offset by a larger increase in entropy elsewhere in the universe, life does not violate that law.  Ergo, a creator is unneccessary - any decrease in local entropy that life would imply can be easily offset by an increase in local entropy elsewhere in the whole system.  Since the whole system is the entire universe, finding possible places where entropy could've increased is no trick at all.
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Re: How was the real universe created?
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2003, 08:44:19 am »

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All this talk about something outside the universe is pure speculation -- by definition, we cannot percieve anything outside our existence.  If we percieve it, it is part of our universe.  Please note that I am using "universe" to include alternate dimensions we might one day contact.

As for probability:  to the best of modern scientific knowledge, the probability of life forming without outside intervention is roughly the same as the probability of a tornado going through a junkyard and forming a fully functional 747.  Or any functional machine, for that matter.  Entropy is the ovverriding principle by which our universe works; without an active force to counteract it amino acids would NOT join together and make the stuff of life.  Thus, the only logical answer is a Creator.


No well that was my whole point, the odds of life forming are ir-relevant. The odds of life forming in an infinetly large Universe over an infinite amount of time is 100%.

If the odds are 1 in 100000000000000000000000000000, Repeat the experiment an infinte number of times, guess how many times that 1 will occur? An infinite number of times.
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Re: How was the real universe created?
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2003, 09:02:19 am »

nononono, NO. Dammit, people just don't understand.

At the end of the universe is MILLIWAYS. Y'know, that's why they call it the RESTAURANT AT THE END OF THE UNIVERSE.

...or maybe just Douglas Adams. If I had to name a being with a mind deranged enough to create this universe in a single burst of divine insight, it would either be Douglas Adams, Groucho Marx, Karl Marx, or my cat.

although, conversely, it could be Keanu Reeves. You know, he can say "whoah" in such a unique and cool manner that sound may have formed our universe. Y'know, like a new-age version of the hindu "OM" sound as the beginning of everything...

I guess I see the Matrix as cliche because of the cult following. I mean, I'm okay with people running around in trench coats, leather, and big ugly boots. But when they start babbling nonsense about "the One" and "the Matrix" and go all cryptic and pseudoexistential on me I give them a well-earned dope slap.

But the universe is not infinite. It's just really, really big. There's a finite number of atoms <something to the eightieth power i believe> and it has existed for a finite length of time and is certainly quantifiable. Therefore, the chances of other life existing are NOT 100%. The Universe could expand to be infinite, after an infinite amount of time. But that doesn't change the fact that there's a finite amount of stuff in it, regardless of how much dark matter, dark energy, dark obfuscation, and dark nonsense you throw in. Now, since it's expanding at c or thereabouts, we really can't ever reach the edge without FTL. So, in a sense, it is infinite because it's too speedy for us to get to the edge.
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Re: How was the real universe created?
« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2003, 11:59:01 am »

Our section of the Universe may be finite, but how do you know an infinite distance away from us there is another "section" of the Universe with another set of a finite number of atoms.

Sorry, but the Universe is still infinite no matter how you spin it.

Also, even if that weren't true that there is only one "section" of the Universe and a definitively finite number of building materials available...

The big bang theory states that eventually the Universe stops expanding and begins contracting, all mass gets sucked into one single small space, all atoms are there where a new big bang occurs and starts the process all over again.

Hence infinite time creates the same results.
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Re: How was the real universe created?
« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2003, 03:07:14 pm »

Regarding the possible infiniteness of the universe, I suggest you take a look at this article in the May issue of Scientific American. Essentially, the article suggests that:
  • An area of space with a certain maximum energy content only has a limited (but huge) amount of possible states.
  • Space is infinite.
  • Thus, every possible version of Earth and its surroundings at any time exists somewhere right now in the universe.
  • And that's without even invoking the quantum many-worlds hypothesis, which means that everything that could have happened, did.
I'd say the article is slightly flawed in that:
  • The justification for the limited amount of states of a volume of space is unclear, to say the least.
  • We're not really sure yet that the universe is infinite, so all of this is speculation at best. At least the article acknowledges this.
  • Is the energy content of a volume of the universe always finite?
Still, it's good to hear that parallel universes that only differ slightly from ours aren't such a silly idea after all. And it makes "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..." sound sensible.

Good thing UQM doesn't have parallel universes like Star Trek, that are like ours, but everyone is evil and has a funny beard. Smiley
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Re: How was the real universe created?
« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2003, 06:16:39 pm »

A couple of quotes that sprung to mind. First, from Terry Pratchett's "Wings":

"SCIENCE: A way of finding things out and then making them work. Science explains what is happening around us the whole time. So does RELIGION, but science is better because it comes up with more understandable excuses when it is wrong."

Next, from T.S. Eliot's "Little Gidding":

"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."

I really didn't have any Deep Thought to add to this conversation that hasn't been already said.
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