I was telling my son about the paradox, whose name escapes me, of getting from point A to point B. If you know its name reply back. It’s this: in order to get from a to b you have to move half way first. Then to get from half way to B you need to move half THAT distance first. And so on. So it seems like you’d never actually arrive at point B because you always have to go half way first. But of course in reality we do get from a to b.
The Creation question seems similar in some way I can’t explain. We ask, how’d we get here. They answer, God created us. We reply but who created God, God’s creator. Who created that creator. So there’s this infinite regression of “half ways” about something getting created. So logically it seems we shouldn’t be here, and yet we are.
Thoughts? (And I mean this to be a philosophical thread, not a religious one).

That is Zeno’s Paradox, which as I recall even Zeno did not believe. Calculus proved why it is wrong.
Philosophically, an uncaused creator makes no sense. Scientifically we have no need for that assumption.

That is Zeno's Paradox, which as I recall even Zeno did not believe. Calculus proved why it is wrong. Philosophically, an uncaused creator makes no sense. Scientifically we have no need for that assumption.
Ok that's it, thanks. So calculus actually didn't prove it was wrong. It merely stipulated a solution that only makes sense in calculus. Just by definition, an infinite number of increasingly smaller fractions converges to the limit of 1. But that's just a rote stipulation. No one ever took a computer and added up an infinite number of fractions. As for an uncaused creator, most non-believers would substitute universe for creator and argue that the universe is uncaused, which according to you makes no sense. And yet that's what scientists believe. Yes we know about the big bang, but when asked, who pulled the trigger to make the big bang, of course the reply is, it's uncaused. Which according to you makes no sense. So I guess you argue For a creator. I never took you for a believer. ;)

The universe is under no obligation to make sense. :coolsmile:
Edit: And scientists don’t say the Big Bang was uncaused, they say we don’t know. Big difference, and the correct answer. Attributing our existence to an uncaused creator is neither logical, necessary, nor backed by evidence.

That is Zeno's Paradox, which as I recall even Zeno did not believe. Calculus proved why it is wrong. Philosophically, an uncaused creator makes no sense. Scientifically we have no need for that assumption.
Great job on answering CJ’s question. Just a sidebar on the religious side of this. Zeno proves with mathematics there is no god creator. Agreed. Most stories are based upon older stories. And my understanding is that the oldest term of “god" meant “knowledge" and the people of knowledge domesticated (created) man. The red ochre burials have religion at over 80K years. Yet, there has been no proof gods as deities in a human form have been around for over 6K years. The DNA says that modern white skinned man has only been around for 12K years. Point being, that the stories passed down by the gods who say they domesticated man, may very well be true. And at least it passes the tests of science so far. Who created the “gods"? Well they evolved, and then we were domesticated by that branch of hominins. The reason they said they domesticated us was that they were farming and their backs were not designed to do the heavy lifting of building the water canals for farming. It was in the Age of Domestication when many of the domesticated animals, fruit and grains were created. So, why not create a branch of the Homo sapiens to do the heavy lifting? Anyway, time will tell if the pre-history stories passed down are true. This is my understanding at this time. It is not set in stone and will most likely change as more data is uncovered and becomes available.
Who created the “gods"? Well they evolved, and then we were domesticated by that branch of hominins. The reason they said they domesticated us was that they were farming and their backs were not designed to do the heavy lifting of building the water canals for farming. It was in the Age of Domestication when many of the domesticated animals, fruit and grains were created. So, why not create a branch of the Homo sapiens to do the heavy lifting.
You must have taken the brown acid back in 1969.
I was telling my son about the paradox, whose name escapes me, of getting from point A to point B. If you know its name reply back. It's this: in order to get from a to b you have to move half way first. Then to get from half way to B you need to move half THAT distance first. And so on. So it seems like you'd never actually arrive at point B because you always have to go half way first. But of course in reality we do get from a to b.
Sorry for being late. As Darron already said, this is one of the Zeno paradoxes, to be specific, the dichotomy paradox]. Literally, it is not a paradox, because we do not have two contradicting conclusions. We have a logical argument and our experience of reality that conflict with each other. So one one of them must be wrong. Zeno proposed that our experience is wrong. He brought his 'paradoxes' to show that 'Being' is 'One' and therefore unchanging.
The Creation question seems similar in some way I can't explain. We ask, how'd we get here. They answer, God created us. We reply but who created God, God's creator. Who created that creator. So there's this infinite regression of "half ways" about something getting created. So logically it seems we shouldn't be here, and yet we are.
Both arguments use the impossibility of infinite steps, but in the creation case there are definitely no 'halves'. We are asking for a cause, and then its cause, and then, .... etc. Each cause, one could argue, is even bigger. God must be greater than its creation, but then, something that created God must be even greater, etc. So I rather see a 'blow-up' then a limit. Many modern physicists are inclined to think that the universe is a quantum fluctuation. Because the total energy content of the universe is about zero, the universe is 'allowed' to exist infinitely, according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Therefore there needs to be no cause. Quantum fluctuations are spontaneous, per definition. Of course, one can ask where this property of the quantum vacuum comes from, but this is asking where the laws of nature come from. But there we can only answer: laws of nature are abstract descriptions of how nature behaves. They are not laws in the strict sense, as prescribing how objects, or in this case a quantum vacuum, must behave. And asking where the quantum vacuum comes from is similar to asking where 'nothing' comes from.

Zeno’s Paradox is also a classic example of the folly of trying to figure out things by pure reason. Observation makes it obvious people and things get from Point A to Point B. The problem lies in Zeno’s thinking. Yes, you can divide distances in half infinitely, but that is a mathematical anomaly. Material objects do not move like that, they just keep going until acted upon by an outside force, such as a spear meeting the flesh of a game animal.

Zeno's Paradox is also a classic example of the folly of trying to figure out things by pure reason. Observation makes it obvious people and things get from Point A to Point B. The problem lies in Zeno's thinking. Yes, you can divide distances in half infinitely, but that is a mathematical anomaly. Material objects do not move like that, they just keep going until acted upon by an outside force, such as a spear meeting the flesh of a game animal.
Even counting individual points in space, you'll get to the end. Or going *half way each time requires reducing your step distance or measurement for each step until the last step is a only a single point, which brings you to B.

Something just struck me. If the universe actually had an infinity of something it would be solid. Zero State?

Zeno's Paradox is also a classic example of the folly of trying to figure out things by pure reason.
Well, yes and no. If one wants to get knowledge about what we observe, then you are completely right. In Zeno's case: we observe movement, and if we want to understand movement, we need our observations. However, if we accept that there are illusions, then reason is at least an essential tool. But you are right, it is still not pure reason. But this paradox is obviously false: not necessary because we empirically know that movement exists (it might be an illusion!), but because the reasoning is wrong. By artificially taking time chunks that get smaller and smaller so that the limit is 1 but never reach 1, it seems that an object can never get from A to B. Another reasoning would be that the object reaches half of the distance in a certain time, and so if we wait exactly the same time again, the object will have reached B. So now I have 2 reasonable arguments, which means one of them must be wrong. It is obvious which one. There is an argument about free fall I like very much, and I am wondering how it is possible that Aristotle could have been an authority on physics for such a long time. Aristotle thought that heavier objects fall faster: e.g. an object of 2 kg falls twice as fast as an object of 1 kg. Now connect these 2 objects with a strong thread. How fast will these objects fall together? Thrice as fast a the 1 kg object? Or is the 2 kg pulling the 1 kg object, and the other way round, the 1 kg slowing down the 2 kg object? And what if we glue the 2 objects together? We just get conflicting arguments. The only way to avoid the contradiction (except denying that movement exists ;-) ) is assuming that all objects fall the same way. The argument is very close to pure reason. Same with special relativity. It is in fact based on one simple assumption: that the laws of nature are the same for all observers that do not accelerate. Now of course I could imagine that some laws of nature are velocity dependent. But it is an empirical fact that we have no way to distinguish between uniform motion and rest. This requirement which all laws of nature must conform to, is empirically so minimalist that there were critiques that Einstein introduced philosophy into physics. So again, very close to pure reason.
Something just struck me. If the universe actually had an infinity of something it would be solid. Zero State?
Write4U's paradox? But I don't see the reasoning. I don't even understand what you are saying.
Something just struck me. If the universe actually had an infinity of something it would be solid. Zero State?
Write4U's paradox? But I don't see the reasoning. I don't even understand what you are saying. Note that we know the universe is NOT infinite. Now fill a finite space with an infinite number of "something", which can be compressed tighter and tighter trying to fit an infinite number of something into a finite space, which will keep expanding outward and compressing inward.. Perhaps this might explain: A deflated balloon is floppy, an inflated balloon is solid, fill the balloon with too much air and what happens when the limits if the stretching ability of the balloon is reached. The singularity of the balloon bursts and forms a body of expanding air.
Note that we know the universe is NOT infinite.
You know more than I do:
Observations, including the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), and Planck maps of the CMB, suggest that the Universe is infinite in extent with a finite age
Wikipedia]
Note that we know the universe is NOT infinite.
You know more than I do:
Observations, including the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), and Planck maps of the CMB, suggest that the Universe is infinite in extent with a finite age
Wikipedia] In this scenario, what is the definition of *the Universe*. Is that observation in regards to the expanding Universe as we know it or does it address an infinite *permittive condition* (vacuum) into which the Universe IS expanding? If the Universe has a finite age and is still expanding, it cannot be infinite, IMO. What is it expanding into, infinity? OK, but is it already infinite in size? As I see it Infinity itself has no shape, it is just a permittive condition with no physical properties.
In this scenario, what is the definition of *the Universe*. Is that observation in regards to the expanding Universe as we know it or does it address an infinite *permittive condition* (vacuum) into which the Universe IS expanding?
Cosmologists all agree that the universe is not expanding into something else. Vacuum is space with nothing in it. So if space itself is expanding, in what is it expanding? Without basic understanding of general relativity, this will stay incomprehensible for you.
In this scenario, what is the definition of *the Universe*. Is that observation in regards to the expanding Universe as we know it or does it address an infinite *permittive condition* (vacuum) into which the Universe IS expanding?
Cosmologists all agree that the universe is not expanding into something else. Vacuum is space with nothing in it. So if space itself is expanding, in what is it expanding? Without basic understanding of general relativity, this will stay incomprehensible for you. Actually I have little problem with visualizing abstract landscapes. But let's look at what has been said here. "vacuum is space with nothing in it" . I agree, but as this infinite empty space cannot be counted as infinite spacetime, I named it more correctly as a *permittive condition* which allows for expansion of the universe. By your own words our universe did have a beginning (13.7 billion years ago), during which "spacetime" (this universe) was born. By your analysis, infinite space has always existed and the BB was the birth of physical stuff and time. As I understand Einstein, space was never disconnected from time, thus the phrase "spacetime". It also would contradict the following representation of the Universe.
The Universe can be defined as everything that exists, everything that has existed, and everything that will exist.[20][21][22] According to our current understanding, the Universe consists of spacetime, forms of energy (including electromagnetic radiation and matter), and the physical laws that relate them. The Universe encompasses all of life, all of history, and some philosophers and scientists suggest that it even encompasses ideas such as mathematics and logic
That's why I like Tegmark's work.
Discoveries in the early 20th century have suggested that the Universe had a beginning and that it is expanding[16] at an increasing rate.[17] The majority of mass in the Universe appears to exist in an unknown form called dark matter. The Big Bang theory, the prevailing cosmological model describing the development of the Universe, states that space and time were created in the Big Bang and were given a fixed amount of energy and matter that becomes less dense as space expands. After the initial expansion, the Universe cooled, allowing the first subatomic particles to form and then simple atoms. Giant clouds later merged through gravity to form stars. Assuming that the standard model of the Big Bang theory is correct, the age of the Universe is measured to be 13.799±0.021 billion years
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universe This may be of interest: http://www.space.com/52-the-expanding-universe-from-the-big-bang-to-today.html Instead of using the term "vacuum" for "empty space", I prefer to use the term "permittive condition" , which can be of any size from zero to infinity. I find the following quote:
The vacuum is the most absolute ground state: no waves, no particles, nothing at all to elevate the energy above zero*.
In quantum field theory, a false vacuum is a metastable sector of space that appears to be a perturbative vacuum, but is unstable due to instanton effects
Using the term a *permittive condition* (pertubative vacuum) does not contradict any speculative description of an expanding universe or even a multiverse or infinity. But our universe (spacetime) has a distinct shape and is expanding. It is not infinite in size. It is in fact a purely abstract term.
By your own words our universe did have a beginning (13.7 billion years ago), during which "spacetime" (this universe) was born.
That were not my words, but OK, I do not disagree with them.
By your analysis, infinite space has always existed and the BB was the birth of physical stuff and time.
No. First I would not call my posting an analysis: it was more of a statement. And nowhere I implied that 'infinite space has always existed', on the contrary.
It is in fact a purely abstract term.
Yes. Too abstract, to be of any use. Why don't you just read modern day cosmology, and be just astonished about the vista's presented to you? It is great stuff, but the real understanding is far above your head. Also above mine, but at least I understand so much of it that I know it is above my head.
GdB said, No. First I would not call my posting an analysis: it was more of a statement. And nowhere I implied that ‘infinite space has always existed’, on the contrary.
This is what you said (quote from wiki)
"suggest that the Universe is infinite in extent with a finite age"
And this makes the problem easier to solve? It suggests that our universe is already infinite, something which is being debated by the scientific community. This suggestion leads to , "Our universe began as an infinitely large singularity.
EXTENT, NOUN: 1.the area covered by something: "an enclosure ten acres in extent" synonyms: area · size · expanse · length · proportions · dimensions
In context, this indicates an a priori *infinite permittive condition*.
EXTEND, VERB: 1.cause to cover a larger area; make longer or wider: "the Forest Service plans to extend a gravel road nearly a mile" synonyms: expand · enlarge · increase · make larger · make bigger ·
This indicates an infinitely expanding universe in an a priori *infinite permittive condition*. Can't have an expanding universe within a universe which is already infinite, but you can have an expanding universe within an a priori permittive condition or zero state vacuum. I still maintain that the universe began as a singularity within a permittive condition (which may be infinite in extent). But our current universe, while extending (expanding), is not infinite in extent yet. That would pose a contradiction. IMO. Relative to our spacetime coordinates the universe is infinite. But if it truly was, then where would be the vacuum?
GdB said, No. First I would not call my posting an analysis: it was more of a statement. And nowhere I implied that ‘infinite space has always existed’, on the contrary.
This is what you said (quote from wiki)
"suggest that the Universe is infinite in extent with a finite age"
And this makes the problem easier to solve? It suggests that our universe is already infinite, something which is being debated by the scientific community.
You can lookup your question here: Why does a flat universe imply an infinite universe]? When K < 0 the universe is infinite per definition. However, present empirical observations are that k =1. This means that our global geometry is flat. There are two forms that have a flat geometry: an infinite flat plane, or a torus (think about computer games where an object disappears at the higher border of the screen, appears at the lower. Same for left and right) The error you make is thinking that the fact that the distances between galaxies globally increase, proves that the universe as a whole is expanding in something else. Your logic is based on everyday objects in the universe, but you cannot treat the universe itself in such a way. You cannot do else than believing what the equations of general relativity tell us. And if the math is too complex for you, you just cannot do else than believe what cosmologists tell you: that the universe seems to be flat, and that it is improbable that it has the form of a torus: until now nobody has seen our galaxy billions of light years away through a telescope. The closed universe is definitely finite. Both others however are infinite. But a flat universe can have the form of a torus: The decision is still out. And might stay that way. PS after writing this I found this article: Astrophysicists create the first accurate map of the universe: It’s very flat, and probably infinite]