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What has happened before us ? what will happen after us ? and how many times

  1. Sep 23, 2007 #1
    Some confused ramblings, I wanna make a sci-fi movie about this:

    We exist because of evolution. The sheer length of the time between us and primitive life is what enabled purposeless random events to eventually come together into order and result in us, with our self-awareness and purpose. This is saying that we,our dna, the present state of the universe and all of its atoms are a result of lots of time and "random" events. So if time and/or space is infinite before now, and after what has happened before us ? what will happen after us ? and how many times will it happen?

    Lets assume that the universe is a constantly rolling dice and for simplicity say it has 1 million sides and lets say that the number 1 equals life on earth as we know it. If I roll the dice 100 times nothing happens we don't evolve past the single cell but if I roll it 1 million times there is a strong possibility of life . Hence more throws (more time) means a said event will more likely occur. So what if I roll the dice 100 million times ? The number 1 will probably come up 100 times, This present situation will happen 100 times. The big dice of the Universe is rolled an infinite amount of times then we can say that any possibility (where it be 1=life,2=life but humans never evolve,3=everything is the same but you are a woman/man,4=humans can time travel etc) anything you can think of (that fits with the laws of the universe,or not?) will happen an infinite amount of times and has happened an infinite amount of times. (however maybe I can safely say that time travel doesn't exist because other wise we would have been visited by an infinite amount of time travelers from the past and future an infinite amount of times).

    So if the earth melts who cares ? If I die who cares ? I will evolve again an infinite amount of times and have ALREADY evolved an infinite amount of times.
    how can anything really matter or be special ... how can anything be bad ? when you can always know that everything you want will happen and has happend already. Everything is infinite if it does appear to end just wait for the next roll of the dice.
    The big bang will come around again and again for sure. So even evolutionists can believe in eternal life.

    Now if you believe in a soul(individuality?) stop now because its not real (?).
    You are only a product of what has happened to you in your life,where you are, and what you are made of(your DNA). If it were possible to clone you and replicate every event that has happened to you and in the universe the clone would be you . do you think ?

    SO with comfort in eternity you have existed and will exist in any and every possible life you can imagine. However does the universe actually have limited possibilities ? is there a limited amount of matter that can only be in limited positions or is every moment always different from the last and nothing can ever occur again ? There may be infinite time but what if there is also infinite space,matter ?(possibilities) ? That dice would have an infinite amount of sides but be rolled an infinite amount of times. could anything occur twice ? is every atom, sub atomic particle different ? or the same ? if they are the same then that is a limit. if they are different then what happens ? (and is there ever a point where things become the same ?)

    Anyway, with this assumption of eternal everything Now think about of all the limitless possibilities why are we in this one? why does our brain lay here ? in this spot ? in this body in this place and time? Think about all the other amazing possibilities specifically do you think it would ever be possible for an infinite amount of scientists with an infinite amount of time to ever figure out the secret of immortality ? could an immortal human ever evolve ?...... if so the universe and earth would be filled with an infinite amount of people who never will die. Why cant we see these people ? Why aren't we these people ? why have we ended up in this predicament with limited lives of only 100 years or less ?

    Will an infinite amount of scientists over infinite time ever figure out all the secrets of the universe ? so that it will be possible to model the whole universe at any time position in a computer which is the product of infinite research ? Or before us, After infinite time has a being ever evolved with an organ such as a brain that contains all the information of the
    universe, this would include a memory of all things that happened and will happen to itself and everything, it knew everything, It could also if it chose decide to select memories that it feels belongs to it as a individual anywhere in eternity, if it did happen to believe in such a concept as self or individuality (Like we do). This being could make a clone of you and search through eternity for memories what it considered to be you (it searched for beings that have lived with the same Dna as you?). It could choose to give you as many memories as it chose or It could even give you the ability to do the same. You and it could then make new people or conjure old ones and you and it could do anything you chose with the full knowledge of the universe. If this happened it would have happened not just once but an infinite amount of times and will happen an infinite amount of times more. So where are these god like people ? why aren't we them? or why havn't they made us like them ? why didn't they let our memories spread over eternity like theres ? Maybe they never evolved and if they never did they never will..or maybe they have limited us for a reason ? Maybe they wanted to create reality ? maybe they wanted something real ? other than repetition over eternity. Regardless I look down at my hands and are blown away by the sheer concrete reality of them of what they can touch I am very thankful for how real everything is and that we are human and that we are real individuals.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 23, 2007 #2
    Natural selection is not random. Mutations can certainly occur randomly, but evolution is not random even a little bit. Its not like throwing dice over and over and getting different results.
    Maybe. Maybe not. Is time infinite? Is the Universe? Who knows. It might be a one shot deal.
    Nope, he'd be very much like me, but in another universe. And since replicating the universe might take some time, I'm thinking he would be quite a ways away timewise.

    Anthropic principle?
    Do they have an infinite amount of monkeys to experiment on? Lots of monkeys is always cool. But if so, poor Shakespeare.
    Are we?
  4. Sep 23, 2007 #3


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    There was a Sci-Am article a year or two back that calculated just how wide the universe would have to be before we would have to have an exact duplicate of our own observable universe. The distance was surprisingly small (as far as astronomically large distances go). My tiny little mind vaguely recalls something on the order of magnitude of 10^150 metres.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2007
  5. Sep 24, 2007 #4
    Well I always believed that nothing happens for no reason everything is a result of something before it. Wouldn't this Include mutations ? The dice is not random either a number comes up for a reason. Maybe by random I mean seemingly unpredictable events that are known to occur over time like mutations for example. What I was trying to say was mutations are random alterations of the dna that happen ever so often an animal is born and I understand if this random alteration results in something that will enable it to survive longer it will. Mutations are random because they don't have a real goal in how they will change the dna the main thing is that there is a change. So the driving force of the appearance of life is randomness and lots of time. Natural selection is a by-product and we are a by-product of natural selection. so can I not safely think that everything is a product of time and change ?

    anyway! maybe the main point I am making is random means no purpose and no meaning, there is no purpose to the matter of this universe it has no goal yet still we are here. The force that created us must be ingrained into the laws of the universe. But whats the deciding factor for us being here ? change overtime and the laws of the universe the more time the more life. now think about everything I said.

    Well if it is infinite then you can almost be 100% sure that there is an infinite amount of beings like you who are all immortal(there has been infinite amount of time for such a being to evolve) and know everything about the universe (they have had an infinite amount of time of thinking and learning). But where are they ? either
    One of these must be a fact :
    A Immortal beings exist but are hiding
    B It is 100% impossible in our universe for an immortal being to ever evolve
    D Time was not infinite before us

    Lets say D time was not infinite before us then how can anything exist?. If there was no time and no space where can a force exists that causes time and space to exist ?

    D seems impossible so I tend to believe that time must be infinite.

    so now we are left with just A and B
  6. Sep 24, 2007 #5
    And I wonder how far away immortal beings live ? 10^400 meters ?
    who actually can travel to a parallel universes time travel and create life ?
    If there is infinite space then there are an infinite amount of immortal time travelers who have decided to travel to our earth to visit us and talk to us and show themselves.
    But they didnt. so they don't exist either because space is limited or
    immortality is a impossibility in this universe (which I find it hard to believe).
    infinite space has the amazing implication that everything exists, what you can image and more.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2007
  7. Sep 24, 2007 #6


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    Flawed logic: hasty conclusion.

    Even Star Trek has a plausible reason why we wouldn't have heard from more advanced races.
  8. Sep 24, 2007 #7
    I believe the Borg's prime directive was to assimilate, not to 'not interfere'. But maybe they would be so impressed with our ability to produce unlimited imagination and fantasy, they would want to study us awile.
  9. Sep 24, 2007 #8

    Ill rephrase
    If one thing is possible and there is eternity it is impossible for it not to occur an infinite amount of times.

    What I'm saying is that if it is possible to happen once and time and/or space is infinite.
    It will happen an infinite amount of times and/or has happened an INFINITE amount of times.
    What I'm saying is there is not just one or two alien races but infinite and infinite events that have occurred and will again. You can say that they want to hide but this is very limited perception of true infinity, infinity means that EVERYTHING that is possible has happened/will including an infinite amount of alien races that wish to show themselves to earth as well as an infinite amount of races that want to hide. do you see ?
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2007
  10. Sep 24, 2007 #9
    But that also includes the idea of an infinite amount of earths. We might simply be 'one instance' of earth where nothing more interesting than human intelligence happens.
  11. Sep 24, 2007 #10
    Well sure most things we observe are deterministic, but quantum level events are much less predictable. And really my point was just that you should be careful with the word 'random'. It can be used in different ways and lead to confusion. If the universe has laws, that implies things aren't completely random, it has constraints, so 'everything' is not possible in this universe. Other universes may exist, but we wouldn't have access to them without some sort of wormhole technology. Change the laws of the universe and one could argue it is not the same universe anymore. Of course, at what point does making small changes to a thing make it something entirely different.... what are the limitations on universes existing? We do observe that our universe evolves based on a set of rules and there may be a limited set of rules that allow for universes to exist.

    The problem with talking about infinities with regards to the 'real world' is that they create paradoxes. Lets assume that your immortals exist, but space and time are also infinite, so they might all be having a meeting somewhere that is not here. You can't say they must be here, because they could be in an infinite amount of other places/times. We might be evolving into immortals, so they aren't here yet. And since immortals can also not exist, you are bound to have gaps, in a universe with infinite time and space.

    Or our universe is one in an infinite series. Or our universe is a collapsed wave function of possible universes, ie when we exist we eliminate others from existing.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2007
  12. Sep 24, 2007 #11
    Considering that 'infinity' can not be empirically verified (it has never been observed or experienced and never will be), and considering that empty space is what we see when we cannot really see anything real, and considering that time is a mental construct that humans just made up to help them understand speed and motion, verifing your statement is impossible using the rules of empirical physics and almost meanigless using using exotic speculations of philosophy.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2007
  13. Sep 24, 2007 #12


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    So you picked the wrong example. Without using TV too much to make a valid point, I'm just saying 'not existing' is not the only reason advanced races might not make their presence known.

    As a famous author quipped:

    "The thing about aliens is: they're alien!"
  14. Sep 24, 2007 #13
    Maybe infinite by our understanding may as well be fiction but I am playing with the idea of infinity and trying to imaging what we would see if everything was unlimited.

    However,I know it is impossible to verify my statement. But I hope you can enlighten me. I find it very hard to equate our idea of limitation,the beginning and end with the existence of anything. I am aware that just because its hard to understand one thing doesn't men you should jump to any conclusions but it is interesting to just play with the concept of infinity,whatever you interpret it to mean.

    Everything we see has a limit ,our house occupies a specific place, when we go outside we are no longer in our house and if we keep driving in one direction we will reach the edge of our country and get to the ocean. We know when something is finished, the limit of something by comparing it to what is outside of it, if there is nothing outside of it how can it end ? how can a limited universe of planets and matter..people. be defined within/by sommthing that doesn't exist ?
  15. Sep 24, 2007 #14
    Yes I agree. it all depends on how you interpret infinity doesn't it ?
    what would happen if there was an infinite amount of objects to fit in an infinite amount of containers. would all the containers be filled ? You are saying no, not all containers will be filled. but how do you define which ones wouldn't be filled ?

    So infinite means that there is an infinite, never ending, supply of aliens to occupy, and if space is limitless as well, an infinite amount of planets, like you said.
    I guess if there is infinite space then there must be both an infinite amount of unvisited and an infinite amount visited. but what the hell does that mean ?:confused:
    I will enjoy thinking about that thanks for that idea. I see what you mean by paradox

    But what if space had an end but time didn't ? Then there would be infinite immortal aliens and limited space for them to exist. ouch!.

    edit: on a second note could these Immortal aliens maybe shrink themselves into infinitely small beings. hahah. that means we are made of aliens. that would be a great movie

    Maybe this implies that if there is either limitless time or space in combination with these limited outcomes that life is eternal for sure(including the repetition of your life). and what can you imagine within the laws of the universe. would an immortal being be a possibility ? If there are laws this means limited outcomes,just like a dice. It is rolled an infinite amount of times because of either A.infinite time or B.infinite space hence everything that is possible is impossible not to occur infinitely. could this include immortality as it has included the existence of human life ? Is the reason we exist because of Limited outcomes but too much time ? we where bound to exists and now here we are after infinite time able to observe and ask these questions.

    And how many could exists I am unfamiliar with the concept of multiple universes as I don't understand what makes a new universes, how do you define the borders and how are they connected ? if there are an unlimited amount that is an unlimited amount of possibilities of other races developing worm-hole technology.

    This is hard for me to grasp for many reasons as I don't know what a universe is or how a universe can be considered an object rather than the end-all container of everything.
    so this looks interesting to read about.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2007
  16. Sep 26, 2007 #15
    I do not think the issue is with how you interpret it, but how you define it. There has not been a definition of infinity in this discussion, other than that which is to be subjectively perceived, intuitively. You can be arguing for an ‘infinity,’ while I could be arguing against this ‘infinity,’ but it could be supposed, that our positions in relation to the notion of infinity, could be based off of different intuitive definitions.

    Withstanding the fact that we have yet to operationally define ‘infinity,’ there seems to be a further issue with this hypothetical. You construct this hypothetical situation, in which there is an ‘infinite’ amount of objects to ‘fit’ in an infinite amount of containers. The first problem is, what is meant by fit? Do we imagine for instance, a space that is 9 meters long, 9 meters wide, and 9 meters high, with an object ‘fitting’ inside of it, that is 1 meter long, 2 meters wide, and 5 meters high? Or do we suppose an object that is 8.9 meters long, 8.9 meters wide, and 8.9 meters high?

    Considering the first problem with your hypothetical, it seems unreasonable to extend this situation into whether or not the containers will be filled or not, since we aren’t exactly sure what the dimensions of the objects are which could or could not be filling these containers.

    Are the dimensions of the object and container infinite as well, or are they finite?

    It’s not good to define a term, with the term itself. To say infinite means that there is an infinite supply of something, doesn’t describe or illustrate the term.

    In one description, you define space as being ‘limitless,’ and in the very next description, you define space to be ‘infinite.’ Are these to mean the same thing, or is there a contrast in definitions?

    This question, depends entirely on the context in which we have defined our Universe. Assuming General Theory of Relativity, space and time is an inextricable, interconnected dimension of physical reality.

    What is your notion of space and time, in this description?

    At what point do these ‘infinitesimally small’ beings, stop ‘shrinking’?

    This is a non sequitur. It does not follow from anything you have said, that ‘there is a limitless time or space in combination with these limited outcomes that life is eternal for sure.’

    Your ‘life’ is constituted based upon your models of experience, constructed through both your interactions with reality, and your perceptions of these interactions. While your genes engineer the physical architecture of your brain and body, and governs the microcosm that exists within the human structure, your ‘life’ only emerges through the interaction between this structure and its experience with reality.

    If I were to replicate your DNA and create a perfect clone (assuming it is possible to create a perfect clone), this clone would not at all be you. It would experience differently than you, based upon its interaction with its environment.

    This being would probably be considered god. For this being to be ‘immortal’ in any description, it would I think, have to exist outside the realm of physical reality. For something to exist ‘immortally,’ within the laws that we have ascribed to the Universe, would appear to be impossible.

    Although, we are defining ‘immortal’ intuitively, so there might be a contrast in our interpretations.

    I am not understanding this dice analogy. Evolution is nothing at all like rolling a dice. A dice has six predetermined outcomes, 1 through 6. Evolution is a determined process, it is modification through gradual descent over time. Through external, environmental pressures, internal, selective mechanisms change to adapt to these external pressures (I contend that this description is overly broad and very simple). It is not as if there is some ‘force’ that is rolling possible mutations or outcomes. It is simply changing to adapt to the external environment. That which cannot adapt, eventually succumbs to the external pressure, and does not continue to propagate its genes.

    The conjectures about multiple universes, exist entirely as mathematical constructs and models. There is absolutely no empirical evidence, to suggest the possible existence of multiple universes. It is certainly okay to consider and ponder the possible existence of multiple universes, one should be aware that there is no defined empirical or physical properties of these abstract objects.

    It is strictly within the context of mathematics, that these objects are conjectured, defined, and constructed.

    Mathematically, a ‘Universe’ is understood as an abstract topological space or manifold (generally speaking). If you are interested in how we physically describe the Universe, you would want to research and read about General Theory of Relativity (if you are not mathematically inclined, you want to find something that is conceptual and visual).
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2007
  17. Sep 26, 2007 #16
    Its one of those things that theoretical physicists are talking about these days. I'm not entirely certain what it means either. It seems to have something to do with the way dimensions of space/time interact. If you look up 'string theory' or 'brane theory' there is lots of weird stuff like that. Science fact today is almost as weird as science fiction.
  18. Sep 27, 2007 #17
    Hi there thanks for your participation in this conversation and for your comments.

    Yes I agree, if a concept is ambiguous that you need to be clear as to what meaning you are using. However, I cant see how anyones definition of infinity can differ from simply "without end or limit". When I said it depends how you interpret it I was referring to how you interpret the outcome of a particular physical situation in which at least one property is infinite. In this case infinite aliens and infinite planets of limited size. I incorrectly used the word interpret because I thought that "all planets could be filled" and "some couldn't" where both exclusive correct outcomes when really I think there is only one correct outcome, a infinite universe in which both infinite planets filled and infinite planets unfilled co-exist.What do you think? This is In sticking with my main idea that with infinity all outcomes occur infinitely. That particular post was an informal thinking out loud style post.

    That hypothetical was a metaphor, the boxes were planets and the objects were people/aliens. You raise a good point: Can a infinitely big planet fit into an infinitely big universe ? But I'm not sure that it matters to my main point in this thread which I will summarize again shortly so you can decide.

    Yep they are the same thing. I couldn't and still cant after re-reading it see how it could be interpreted otherwise. Could you show me how in future I can be more clear when using these words/concepts ?

    Ok so you are saying time is space ?...or that if one is infinite so is the other ?
    This possibly has gone a bit over my head. I guess before you said that at times in this discussion I have been playing with either limited space/unlimited time, unlimited space/unlimited time and thinking about the implications but are you saying its generally said that only unlimited space/unlimited time is a possibility ?

    In this situation they must be able to shrink limitlessly but then in turn space would actually be limitless and absolute size would be an illusion.
    Ok so I originally set out saying that what if space was limited and time wasn't. If these immortal beings can shrink limitlessly then that contradicts my statement of limited space. So shrinking cant be the answer. However I don't wish to talk much more about the technicality's of that as it isn't my main point, that was just a throw away. But feel free to comment if you feel strongly about that but I'm not so concerned about this.

    My first post talked about this.

    I wonder if you have read my first post ? it is my main idea.It addresses this. If you haven't don't worry Ill tell you my main idea again.

    My definition Immortal, ones life/consciousness(as you know it) to never end.
    The only way science acknowledges consciousness to exists is with a physical brain for it to exists. So why does it appear impossible to you ?
    why do we die ?
    because its coded into our dna "Cells stop dividing after a certain number of reproductions – about 50 – due to specialised stretches of DNA called telomeres, found at the end of every chromosome. On each division of the cell, the telomeres shorten, until a point when apoptosis is triggered. So the telomere acts as a biological clock, limiting the supply of new cells. This means that even if an organ survives a battery of biological insults, it will eventually fail. The maximum life span for the body's tissues is thought to be around 120 years" why is it this way ?
    "From an evolutionary point of view, humans are in essence merely 'carriers' for the genetic material inside us. Once this information has been passed on to offspring, the individual is of no further use and can be allowed to die" There has been no evolutionary pressure for us to live longer than we do." You can read many articles about scientific research for therapies for the extension of human life and they often mention about the possibility of one day Immortal humans. These therapies include Nanotechnology, stemecell's and other things. Anyway my reasoning is if its considered scientifically possible for man to do it then evolution can.

    You say that something is "simply changing" I assume you are referring to an animal ? How does this animal change ?
    That adaptation you are talking about is natural selection ?

    from : http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/...w-does-evol-work/how-does-evolution-work.html
    "Natural selection is a critical aspect of the evolutionary process, but it is not the whole story. Evolution depends on there being a diversity of living things for natural selection to act on. The force that creates this diversity is called mutation.

    Mutations are random alterations in our genes, the result of genes failing to copy themselves properly or exposure to radiation or other chemicals (called mutagens)"
    "occasionally a mutation improves an organism’s chances of survival or reproduction. In these rare situations, if the organism survives long enough to breed the mutation is passed down to the next generation. "

    A animal does not change with the intent of benefiting its genes. The laws of the universe
    cause "random"(meaning without cause) changes in the dna. Sometimes this change is beneficial more often its detrimental and gives the animal a deformity. The deformed animal dies young without reproduction the animal that by chance grew legs will live longer as it can walk to the tree and eat the coconut providing its teeth are sharp enough. lol. If an animal needs legs say because its food supply has run out in its immediate area it can not grow legs by simply by wishing for them. It as a species must wait for its son to receive a random scramble to its code that will not kill it but enable it to travel further.
    The force that is said to overcome all the bad mutations is simply lots of time.
    "If life began 4 Billion years ago, then for 3.5 Billion, it consisted of simple life-forms."
    "Only in the last 500 Million years have the larger animals that we are familiar with evolved"

    My dice metaphor does not refer just to evolution and mutation. I am talking also about the force that enabled "first" life. Theses forces cannot be mutation or adaptation as they apply to biological organisms that have not always existed. The force to my understanding is a general force of purposeless, cause and effect change within the laws of the universe. If something has laws it has defined outcomes. A dice has laws,defined outcomes, you can only roll what numbers that it has. A dice has 1-6 you cannot get 1.3, -98, 7 or Abc, etc. Are there also impossibilities in the universal outcomes/laws ?. I am assuming yes as this is the common belief, so the universe is not unlike a dice as they both have there limited set of outcomes. One obviously has many more outcomes. If there was space to infinity all possible outcomes of the universal laws would occur infinitely.
    Including your genes but not only your genes but your exact life and experience, like you said a person is their genes and there experiences. My main point is if this meaningless-force really is the reason for everything then what we should observe is infinite immortal visitors from all over the limitless universe.
  19. Sep 27, 2007 #18
    thanks dawg Ill have a look
  20. Sep 27, 2007 #19
    First, I am only an undergraduate student, and certainly no expert on this, so anything I say, should be consider as possibly erroneous. This is to say, you should certainly research what I talk about to verify if I am indeed correct or not (which you have already been doing, and that is great. That way we can both learn something through our discussions).

    This is an extremely long post, but I had fun writing it, and hopefully you enjoy reading it. This discussion is fun, so please continue talking with me, I am learning a lot simply by having to write out my thoughts.

    My contention, is that there exists absolutely no infinite physical construction. While we can mathematically define infinity using, set theory, real and complex analysis, algebra, etc., and we often use infinite series and unbounded functions in our physical calculations, we can never truly accept a result which produces an infinity. We must renormalize in the case of Quantum Field Theory (QFT), or interpret the infinite result in a way that agrees with our empirical observations of physical reality.

    One of the reasons we have not been able to create a composite theory of Quantum Mechanics (QM) and General Theory of Relativity (GTR), is that generally speaking, when we insert the equations of Quantum Mechanics into the General Theory of Relativity, we get infinities. This is true for the converse as well, when we insert GTR equations into QM, we get infinities.

    While it might be interesting to consider an abstract philosophical situation, in which there exists infinite dimensions or properties, there is (as far as I know), no empirical verification of any physically infinite construction.

    You are correct in that mathematically, the notion of infinity is bound to the definition of limits (at least in analysis), I was just clarifying if this is what you were describing conceptually.

    I am unsure of your physics and mathematics background, so I just assumed you were vaguely familiar with the fact that there exists many different paradigms and theoretical models of the Universe. The currently most accepted theoretical model used to describe the macroscopic Universe, is General Theory of Relativity. It defines the Universe as a 4-dimensional space, possessing three spatial dimensions of length, height, and width, which constitutes six degrees of freedom (up and down, left and right, forwards and backwards), and one temporal dimension of time. The interaction between the geometry of space-time, and the objects within it, is important to consider. Mass directs how space will curve, and space governs how mass will move (imagine rolling a bowling ball over a spread out sheet in the air. The mass of the ball causes the sheet to curve, and this curve directs how the ball will travel. This is a very general conception of the interaction).

    Without getting into all of the various subtleties involved (whether or not space-time is truly a temporal dimension, or if it is actually a spatial one, or if there is truly motion in space or not), it should be considered that space and time is interconnected.

    This is a overly broad, conceptual thought-experiment that describes some of the properties of general theory of relativity the best that I can think of it:

    Imagine an infinite rubber sheet, extending indefinitely in all directions. From any vantage point you select, you will always see the rubber sheet extending into all directions, similar to how you would observe the extension of the water if you were in the middle of the ocean. This is the fabric of space. Now imagine a grid of dots on this infinite rubber sheet extending in all directions. The dots are spaced equally apart from one another, so that they are uniformly placed. Now, we place people on each dot in this grid, so that there is an infinite amount of people, equally spaced from one another, and uniformly scattered across this infinite rubber sheet. They represent galaxies.

    In this hypothetical model, imagine that you have the ability to teleport to any dot you want, and look around. If you were to teleport to any dot, you would see exactly the same thing in all directions, evenly spaced galaxies (although the people or galaxies themselves, would all look different much like how we observe them in our Universe), exactly the same in all directions, and a space that extends into the horizon indefinitely. Now imagine that you have teleported back to your dot. Expand the sheet in your mind, to the point where from your vantage point, from your dot, you observe nothing but rubber sheet (space) in all directions, but can no longer observe the other galaxies. If you were to teleport to any other dot, you would see the same thing, space extending in all directions. If we were to zoom out, we would see that our grid is still spaced proportionally the same as it was when we initially placed them on our sheet, however, the space in between the dots has increased (expanded), however, the dots themselves have not actually moved.

    Now imagine that we contract this sheet until the dots are separated the same distance as when we began. Continue contracting the sheet until all of the dots are touching. Contract this sheet until each dot is on top of each other. This is the Big Bang ‘singularity’, and this contraction and expansion, demonstrates how space and time are interconnected.

    When we began, the distance between our dots was fixed, and the time that it would take to travel between each dot was fixed. As space expanded, and the distance between our dots increased, the time that it would take to travel between our dots also increased.

    I know I assumed infinite properties in this thought experiment, which like I said earlier, is fun to think about. If we were to assume and accept empirical observations and models, however, we cannot possibly accept any infinite physical property, because as far as I know, none exists.

    If you know of an example, I’d love to hear it.

    I know you were just rambling about an interesting thought experiment, and I just was curious how much you had thought about it, so I asked that question. Regardless of whether it was relevant to your main point or not, I found it interesting enough to ask about. =D

    I read your first post. I was just deconstructing everything you said, to see how you defend it. It gives me a better perspective (or if our perspective is the same), and you an opportunity to describe your idea to me, in a different way.

    What if I smashed this immortals brain into mush? If I cut off all of it’s limbs and left it on the ground alone, it would eventually be unable to nourish its body and would eventually die. Immortal by your definition, cannot logically assume an immortal consciousness, because it is still a physical property of the brain.

    Honestly, there are a lot of different reasons why we die.

    You are talking about immortal consciousness, in the sense that if we interrupt and stop the aging process, people could live forever, as long as there wasn’t negative interference, to cause death.

    I don’t really consider this to be immortal. Simply, we have removed one variable out of the death equation, which still contains a multitude of other complex variables.

    Evolution of any physical system (animal, planet, forest, solar system), is simply defined as a change over time.

    It isn’t strictly natural selection. I did provide you with an overly broad simplification.

    While it is true that mutations occur, it is also true (as the article states), that almost all of them are harmful. The mutation might be a random occurrence (although, it depends how we define random, because the mutation is determined through the chemistry of the proteins and amino acids), the chance of this mutated gene propagating, is not.

    Consider a white rabbit, that lives in a perpetual, snowy environment. This white fur allows the rabbit to remain relatively hidden and camouflaged, in its environment. This white rabbit gives birth to other white rabbits, except, one of the rabbits has black fur, because of a mutated gene. While this mutation is seemingly random, it will not be naturally selected for survival and propagation. A black rabbit running around in a white snowy environment, is more than likely not going to survive. In almost all cases, this rabbit will be prey to some predator, because its chance of surviving has been severely reduced because of this negative mutation.

    There are few situations, however, in which a mutation might be potentially beneficial for the organism. If the organism is able to survive equally as well as its counterparts that do not contain the mutated gene, or if it allows them to survive better, than this organism will more than likely be naturally selected for survival. It will survive, and propagate this mutated gene to its offspring, who will carry and propagate the gene to their offspring. While the mutation was random, the reason the gene propagates, is generally not.

    So your contention is essentially, that the seemingly random interactions between the first emergent proteins and amino acids, happened to produce the first ancestor, that has gradually descented over time, into what we consider today, as life?

    That possibly, if the interactions between these first inorganic molecules, had been different, then we might observe completely different organisms today, and we might not have existed?

    If so, then I certainly agree. This is why it is unlikely that there are any other organisms in the Universe, which maintain the same properties that the organisms on our planet do. Aside from the fact that the initial construction of the first organisms might interact completely different than what developed on Earth, there would be different internal environmental variables (those present on or within the Earth itself, such as Volcanoes, Oceans, Atmosphere, Climates, Gases, etc.), and external environmental variables (such as meteors and asteroids, the presence of the moon, the distance from the sun, etc.).

    However, I do not know that is the same as a dice. A dice has predetermined outcomes, not determined outcomes. It can only be 1-6, however, we have no reason to assume that life only has limited possibilities, let alone predetermined ones. There is no reason to assume that there is only a finite amount of potential outcomes, present in the beginning of a biological system (the beginning of the first organisms).

    A dice has a probabilistic set of outcomes. If we were to assume there is only a finite amount of possibilities present for the beginning of biological systems, then we can logically only assume one possible outcome, and that is what has developed on Earth. Otherwise, it would be arbitrary to conclude there is a finite set of outcomes, but that it is greater than 1.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2007
  21. Sep 29, 2007 #20
    It seems that it is plausible that space is infinite because there is no conceivable notion on how it might be limited or how it might end. However, matter/energy is probably not infinite and it does not necessarily follow that if space is unlimited/infinite, then the amount of matter/energy is also unlimited/infinite. Also, matter/energy, as we know it probably has a finite term of existence, although it would have to originate from something we do not know about (instead of nothing) and teminate as something we do not know about.

    Therefore: The assertion that there are an infinite number of anything composed of matter/energy, such as an infinite number of planets just like earth, or an infinite number of alien life forms seems not justified except by the most exotic or radical speculation.
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