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Featured Is the universe infinite or finite?

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by firedragon, May 12, 2021.

?
  1. Infinite

  2. Finite

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  1. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    This question comes out of curiosity to find the arguments of those who make both sides of the word "or". If this is a false dichotomy I would like to hear the other options to this as well.

    A few atheists have been making a similar argument to "the universe is infinite" in this very forum when discussing the Kalam Cosmological Argument, which is the reason for this thought experiment if I may put it that way. Now before anyone derails the thread saying "this is a strawman" let me make it clear that this is not an atheists position in general, but a few do make this positive claim, thus what are the philosophical or/and scientific reasonings for this?
     
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  2. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    The universe is measured to be flat to 5 decimal places. If its flat it is potentially infinite.

    However the accuracy of measurement may deviate at more than 5 decimal placed which would make rhe universe open or closed in which case it would be finite.

    So the answer is, it is flat to the accuracy of measurement but we rally don't know

    Shape of the universe - Wikipedia.
     
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  3. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहं ब्रह्मास्मि
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    If the universe is finite, what lies beyond the boundary?
     
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  4. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Interesting question. It had a beginning so is finite in the past, it is flat so potentially infinite (potentially is the key). So we have to assume it is finite in size (93 billion light years (gave or take a bit)). But potentially able to continue expanding for infinity.

    So what is the universe expanding into?

    Some say there is infinite space for it to expand into, other believe it makes its own space as it expands.

    A conundrum that will keep cosmologists in work for many years to come.
     
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  5. Altfish

    Altfish Veteran Member

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    Think you need a third option ... Not Sure
     
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  6. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Shrugs. I tried.

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    Well, my rudimentary knowledge of astronomy, I should have looked it up first. I'd say space is infinite and the universe is finite.

    I would have loved to understand astronomy but math isn't my best subject.
     
  7. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    You mean its specially flat.

    But I understand that by infinite you mean in size. But yet, Hawkins calculates the expansion of the universe at such critical rate that a one part of one billions of the radius different would collapse the universe. The claim of course is that the universe is a closed system. Anyway, scientists are also considering not only euclidian geometry, but also Lobachevskian & Riemannian.

    Anyway, I would like to hear your explanation on the 5 decimal places.

    Lets say that the flat universe with omega at 1 is given and its expanding infinitely, it still does not go back to the beginning of the universe. If there was a beginning according to the Big Bang model, can the universe still be infinite?
     
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  8. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    Thanks.
     
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  9. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
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    I'd say the universe is beyond comprehension. We throw numbers around as if they convey meaning...so sure, the cosmos has a 47-billion light-year observable radius, but it is likely several orders of magnitude larger...Like we really comprehend the distance that a light-year represents, and the difference of 10 orders of magnitude...yeah, we comprehend that...:rolleyes:
     
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  10. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    The universe is not understood to be an expanding ball. In our minds having a radius would mean there is a boundary. But the universe does not have a physical boundary like a ball. The horizon is determined or rather entered into calculations in various models by the behaviour of the universe like a thermos. Not because there is a physical boundary. Thus the "beyond the edge" concept does not arise unless you think another universe begins which would mean our universe still is logically finite and with no boundary. Hawkins thinks in terms of "imaginary time". “chaotic inflation” idea maybe an answer you are looking for in theory.
     
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  11. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    You are confusing systems with volume

    And i said potentially infinite.

    2 points on the cmb and one on earth creates a virtual triangle. The angles measured indicate the shape

    tumblr_m32220C54N1r3si8so1_500.jpg
     
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  12. ratiocinator

    ratiocinator Lightly seared on the reality grill.

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    I don't know and neither does anybody else. I think the point many people make is that there is nothing that rules out an infinite universe and the spatial flatness suggests that it might be.
     
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  13. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    I said size.

    No problem.

    1. Anyway, I would like to hear your explanation on the 5 decimal places.

    2. Lets say that the flat universe with omega at 1 is given and its expanding infinitely, it still does not go back to the beginning of the universe. If there was a beginning according to the Big Bang model, can the universe still be infinite?
     
  14. The Hammer

    The Hammer Fork-Beard
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    Is the Universe finite or infinite? An interview with Joseph Silk.

    We don't know.
     
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  15. Conscious thoughts

    Conscious thoughts Veteran Member

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    I do not know.
     
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  16. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    You said, and i quote

    I will repeat
    tumblr_m32220C54N1r3si8so1_500.jpg
    A picture is worth 1000 words, apparently
     
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  17. ratiocinator

    ratiocinator Lightly seared on the reality grill.

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    Scientists aren't considering Riemannian geometry, general relativity is formulated on the basis that space-time is a (pseudo- or semi-)Riemannian manifold. The geometry of space would (on a large scale) be hyperbolic (Lobachevskian) if the curvature is negative. If it's flat, it would be Euclidean.

    What do you mean by "go back to the beginning"?

    Yes - why not?
     
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  18. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    I said "closed system" referring to the universe deemed a closed system. Like a thermos.

    Closed system - Wikipedia

    Maybe you are thinking I am here to debunk you but I am not and I did not. so there is no need whatsoever to try to have a debate unless it is called for. Be a little patient if you can and try and understand what someone says.

    And for the third time, I will ask this question.

    1. Anyway, I would like to hear your explanation on the 5 decimal places.

    2. Lets say that the flat universe with omega at 1 is given and its expanding infinitely, it still does not go back to the beginning of the universe. If there was a beginning according to the Big Bang model, can the universe still be infinite?
     
  19. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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  20. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Correct, you didn't say size as you said you did

    It's not a debate or discussion. I am giving my answers as best i know them, which may be at odd with your idea's, if you dont like them then that is up to you.


    And for the 3rd time i will present this picture
    tumblr_m32220C54N1r3si8so1_500.jpg

    And for the second time repeat the explanation

     
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