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Re: Question For All Atheists

Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #30 on: May 06, 2009, 08:28:19 PM »
Quote from: "SSY"
Quote from: "PipeBox"
The number of points in space is infinite.

As far as I am aware, this is not the case. It is predicted space has a grainy structure, so you could not divide an inch into a an infinite number of pieces, there is a finite smallness to space. Combined with the finite size of the observable universe, this suggests there are not an infinite number of points in space, at least points that correspond to an actual location.
There is a point at which you can no longer distinguish other points, but that isn't to say they don't exist.  As it were, 35.1 is still a point inside of 35.  Things just get "foamy" below the plank scale, not infinitesimal.  You can put an infinite number of points in space in the same manner that there is an infinite number of values between 1 and 2.  There just happen to be cardinal values in both space and numbers.   :D
If sin may be committed through inaction, God never stopped.

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Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #31 on: May 06, 2009, 08:51:10 PM »
Quote from: "PipeBox"
Quote from: "SSY"
Quote from: "PipeBox"
The number of points in space is infinite.

As far as I am aware, this is not the case. It is predicted space has a grainy structure, so you could not divide an inch into a an infinite number of pieces, there is a finite smallness to space. Combined with the finite size of the observable universe, this suggests there are not an infinite number of points in space, at least points that correspond to an actual location.
There is a point at which you can no longer distinguish other points, but that isn't to say they don't exist.  As it were, 35.1 is still a point inside of 35.  Things just get "foamy" below the plank scale, not infinitesimal.  You can put an infinite number of points in space in the same manner that there is an infinite number of values between 1 and 2.  There just happen to be cardinal values in both space and numbers.   :D

I fail to see why space must not have a smallest possible unit because there is an infinite amount of real numbers between 1 and 2... I don't see how that follows.
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Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #32 on: May 07, 2009, 01:03:09 AM »
Pipe, you are right that you could divide the space between 2 points into an infinite number of points ( as in, assign an infinite number of co-ordinate pairs to the space between two points). But you could not have a particle exists at all of those points in space.

If you tried to put the centre of a particle ( an infinatley small, point denoting the centre ) on one of these points, you could not do it. There are a certain number of points between two points where particles are allowed to exist. Its not that its too small to be feasible, but that it is physically impossible.

The numbers between 1 and 2 comprise a set, this set is purley a mathematical construct and does not live in our physical universe. The points in space actually have to exist. Assigning each point a co-ordinate is not the same as saying it exists, as the co-ordinate and the point are not actually linked except in our descriptive model ( which again, does not live in the real universe ).

Imagine the universe as a sheet of squared paper or graph papaer. Particles are only allowed on the intersections of lines for instance. Now zoom out, way way out. The travail of a particle will look smooth and continous, but in fact it jerks along from one intersection to another without existing at the points in between.

Wiki probably says it better. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_length
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Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #33 on: May 07, 2009, 05:50:23 AM »
Space has a smallest measurable unit, predicted at the planck length, but this is already far smaller than our ability to observe.  A quantum theory of gravity may yield a more fundamental unit in space, but it's worth noting that we derive the Planck length from dimensional analysis, and as such, it is mute on numerical factors, which we need further exacting theories to describe, and we already know of effects with less length than a planck length.  The gravitational effect of an electron, which must exist, as it has mass, extends orders of magnitude less than the Planck length.  Of course, we have no quantum theory of gravity, yet, and many hypothesis use the Planck scale as a foundational part of the hypothesis, but I don't think you're bold enough to tell me that electrons do not possess any gravitational force.

What Hitsumei said is right, though, what I said does not logically follow if you are unwilling to describe space as pure geometry.  But space looks a lot like pure geometry, uncertainties of position and distance being the very reason we use a fundamental unit.  It says as much in the "Physical Signifigance" section of the Wiki article on Planck length -- that our ability to measure anything at less than the Planck length is very much in doubt, not doubting that such positions and distances exist.  Indeed, if they did not, you and I would not be able to move, as the Planck length is the distance covered by a photon in the Planck time, and an electron or proton do not move at the speed of light.  Indeed, all movement would be forced to shift in frames.  Time doesn't appear to operate in slices, though, it just gets very hard to tell when it is progressing at all.

Note that nowhere did I claim we could stuff an infinite amount of particles, nor an infinite amount of equal finite spaces, into any given space, only that an infinite number of points may be defined.  Space is foamy, and while you cannot define below a Planck length in distance and position relative to something else and then measure it, you can most certainly center any particle on any point in space.  As it is, experimental inaccuracies prevent us from verifying if that particle is centered on a point less than a Planck distance from some other object (actually experimental inaccuracies prevent us from doing measurements at several magnitudes higher, at the moment, but you understand).  I say again, such points ought to exist if reality actually consists of geometric spatial dimensions.
If sin may be committed through inaction, God never stopped.

My soul, do not seek eternal life, but exhaust the realm of the possible.
-- Pindar

Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #34 on: May 07, 2009, 04:20:22 PM »
SSY-
Are you saying that if we had the ability to observe the smallest point of space and say, a particle travelling through those points, the particle instead of appearing to move fluidly through an infinite number of points, it would actually appear to jerk between each smallest point of space?

I'm just trying to understand what you're saying.

Thanks

Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #35 on: May 09, 2009, 01:33:53 PM »
Quote from: "BadPoison"
SSY-
Are you saying that if we had the ability to observe the smallest point of space and say, a particle travelling through those points, the particle instead of appearing to move fluidly through an infinite number of points, it would actually appear to jerk between each smallest point of space?

I'm just trying to understand what you're saying.

Thanks
Pretty much. Though observing it would throw in another monkey wrench.

Think like pixels on a screen.

Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2009, 12:41:04 PM »
Quote from: "mbell31"
Personally, I have never understood how proponents of scientism are even given a voice on matters such as creation. Since the 1st law of thermodynamics, or the conservation of energy, says energy can never be created or destroyed: how can science ever explain the original creation of energy?

The traditional theistic belief stands that the original creation of time, space, matter, and energy was done by a agent who exists outside of time and space and has no cause. It is self-existent and self-sustaining. Though it may be hard to imagine from our finite perspective, I do not see any logical alternative.

The logical alternative is of course that time, space, matter, and energy were never created, and were themselves uncaused. As per Occam's razor it is a simpler explanation, as it eliminates the need for a hypothetical agent.
"Rational arguments don’t usually work on religious people. Otherwise there would be no religious people."

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Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2009, 10:59:02 AM »
Quote from: "mbell31"
It seems too often that debates on the existence of God cover outside issues such as the problem of evil, morality, etc. While these things do credit or discredit the possibility of God's existence in some people's minds, they are not even an integral question or close to the best question to ask.

My question for all Atheists concerns our origin, or the Universe's origin. This is something I thought about since I was a kid but I will pose it in its more formal style, entitled the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

This is how it goes:

1. The Universe Exists

2. It either had No Beginning or a Beginning

(Most people agree the Universe had a beginning: Big Bang Singularity, 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, Actual Infinity doesn't exist, Impossible to cross infinity)

The universe, or, more specifically, all the matter and energy that exists today, existed before the big bang, and will continue to exist in the future, albeit in different forms.

Quote from: "mbell31"
Personally, I have never understood how proponents of scientism are even given a voice on matters such as creation. Since the 1st law of thermodynamics, or the conservation of energy, says energy can never be created or destroyed: how can science ever explain the original creation of energy?

The traditional theistic belief stands that the original creation of time, space, matter, and energy was done by a agent who exists outside of time and space and has no cause. It is self-existent and self-sustaining. Though it may be hard to imagine from our finite perspective, I do not see any logical alternative.

Science doesn't have to prove the creation of energy because it never happened.  It always existed.
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Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2009, 08:11:57 PM »
Looks like this turned into a scientific debate about the origin of the universe. Plus, I don't think mbell will be back... :raised:

I'm a bit rusty on my astrophysics; haven't kept up with the research, so I can't comment on the most current theory. Does anyone know if Null theory is still in favor?