Thought Provoking

The Implications of Infinity

My astronomy professor got to the “expansion of the universe” unit and went over how we figured out the age of the Universe using Hobble’s Constant, which is a measurement of the expansion of the space-time fabric that the universe is made up of. Hubble’s Constant came about from the observation that the more distant the galaxy is away from Earth, the faster it travels away from us. Then our professor told us something that is contradictory to the idea that space and time are connected. He told us that the universe is likely infinite in size. Infinity is defined as endless, without boundaries. Keeping this in mind, how far does space go? When we look out at the distant stars and galaxies, could that space be infinite?

                                         aHubbleLaw2

Before I go into why the universe must have a boundary, lets talk about the super cool parts of what it would mean for the universe to be without a boundary. If the universe really were infinite in size, then whatever fictional world of characters you could imagine, as long as it abided by the laws of the universe (laws of physics), it would be in existence as we speak. True infinity is to say there is someone out there exactly like you doing exactly as you are doing right at this very moment. So continue reading this along with your new clone. Too bad your clone doesn’t actually exist. The universe is not infinite and this is because the universe had a beginning.

Now let’s slow down and let it all sink in.

  1. If the universe were infinite in size, it’s “beginning” would have happened at an infinite time in the past.
  2. An infinite amount of time has not passed.
  • The universe began roughly 13.7 billion years ago as predicted by Hubble’s Constant. That means space has only had 13.7 billions years to expand to the size it is today. If the universe had infinite time to expand, the universe would have died a heat death. For those that don’t know what heat death is, essentially it is the certain fate that all of the stars and sources of light in the universe will burn out and the space between the stars will expand so far from each other, the universe will reach a temperature of 0 kelvin – absolute zero, the temperature at which atoms stop motion [zero energy]. However it is not the case that the universe has died a heat death because we are still here.
  • Since space and time are connected as one, there cannot be infinite space and finite time, because there is finite time, there is finite space.

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Here is the trip, and why my astronomy professor holds strong to the idea that space is infinite, despite how contradictory it is – when we look out into space and examine the distant galaxies all around us, we observe that there is an equal amount of matter in all directions. That is to say that we see no evidence of an edge to the universe. That leads to a couple possible conclusions: One, the universe is much, much bigger than we imagined, making our local ecosystem appear as a smooth drop in an even bigger sea. Or two, the universe began everywhere. When you ask astronomers where the universe began to expand, they are going to tell you that it began everywhere because at the very beginning, all points in space were at a single point, the same point. So what happens when I present my professor with this idea that space has a limit? He tells me that I misunderstand because there is an infinite quantity of points in space.

Well I am stuck. Are there infinite points even though not infinite time has passed on our clock? Maybe my understanding of space-time is wrong, or maybe our understanding as a scientific community is wrong. Logically it seems space can only be finite in size. There must be something missing: Relativity.

What philosophers and astronomers can both agree on is that space, at the very least, has a relative boundary. Any light beyond 13.7 billion light years away would have to be traveling faster than light to reach us – which also implies we would have to be traveling faster than light to escape the ‘edge of the universe’. I like to compare the relative edge to our universe as an ‘event horizon’ in a black hole. For those of you that do not know, a black hole is called a black hole, not because it is black, but because it does not emit light (meaning it is transparent and invisible). This is due to the fact that its gravity is stronger than the required velocity for light to escape it. The point at which the escape velocity exceeds the speed of light is called the ‘event horizon’. Am I sneakily pointing out that our universe exists within a black hole? Maybe.

What are we to make of all this? Are space and time really connected as one or are they separate and the universe is infinite in size but not infinite in time? Let those with integrity examine what is being said and decide for themselves the implications of infinity.

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Nature of Existence, Thought Provoking

Psychohydraulics (A Meditation on Language)

Where does language’s authority come from?

Language is a deeply integral part of our life; it’s difficult to grasp its value and purpose. Literally, I can express a thought, just as these words are doing now, and through writing, bring something within myself into concrete existence. I can describe a place in my imagination to another conscious being and they can imagine roughly the same as I do! Through the facial expressions of a child, we can interpret anger, or joy. Through vocal tone or percussion, we can separate serious from sarcastic. By the paints on a canvas, we can feel beauty and connection or desolation and pain. There is a shared, unspoken language that each of us understand. What is that? Not only should we be asking what particular language that it is, but, what is language and where does it come from?

Language will be defined as a medium for communication and expression understood through meaningful, coherent patterns. It is a catalyst for expression – something that we are so totally absorbed in that we forget it’s place in creation. Referring back to the question introducing this piece, what gives language it’s power? Think, tens of trillions of prayers request for a reality that is different from a current one, why would any of them come true? Are we the ones giving meaning to the pattern of sounds, or have coherent patterns always existed and we are drawing from something fundamental, upon which existence has built its foundation (language being a quality of existence). My suggestion is that language is divine – meaning that language is not strictly an invention of man, it is eternal in nature. Divine Language (communication) transcends all intentions in all forms; it is a real connection lying within each one of us.

Language looks to be the only real link to a greater depth of understanding – we think in it, we speak in it; it is all encompassing and therefore illusive when we reach to it. How can we understand language when we are confined to think only about it within it’s own boundaries? Can we transcend language?

The take away: the language in which we speak cannot be fully understood in the same means by which we speak it; it must be transcended by the highest language (in this case, meaning understood without our spoken word).

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Thought Provoking

Let’s Talk About Reality

Ok guys, I want to point out something that is rarely talked about, thought about, or investigated – that is the imagination (We will define the imagination as the mental images, and sensory details that you can experience with your minds eye). The imagination has fascinated me only recently over the past few months. I was inspired after watching Esther Perel’s TED Talk on, ”The secret to desire in a long-term relationship”. The idea was introduced to me that our imaginations are a much more active force in creating experiences  we desire than given credit for. It lead me to question, “how powerful is the imagination?”. We know that it is powerful enough to invent an understanding of our origin: creation – because we have used creation stories to make sense of where we come from.

So think about this: when we read creation stories, whether it be scientific ones like the big bang, or religious ones as in Genesis, we had to envision, in our minds, all the parts and possibilities that allow that creation story make sense to our brains.

Why did I bring up creation stories? Well I want to point out to question: what is the key difference between the created and the creator, what is already here, and what is perceived as being there? Can we say that the actual events that are recorded in a car accident (created) and the perceived events (creator) have no relation to one another? The intuitive belief is that we have no real effect on our day-to-day experience. But let’s try being insane.

So what is to say that really the, “big bang”, the event from which the universe has theoretically sprang, is actually derived from our imagination – but not just derived from it, sure we could not picture the universe and all of it’s workings without the imagination, but what if the imagination is the genesis of creation? Whose to say that the origin of understanding and even present experience is ultimately from our perception interpreted via imagination?

The take away: Is the spout (meaning, imagination) which we use to make sense of our reality, really the origin of our world?

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