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Conjecture #2: Inevitability (Part 2)

I Conjecture:  In an infinite multiverse we must exist.

Part Two: The impossibility of non-existance

“Needleman was rarely out of public controversy. He published his famous ‘Non-Existence: What To Do If It Suddenly Strikes You’.”–Woody Allen, ‘Remembering Needleman’ (short story)

Image credit: http://www.savagechickens.com (click image for link)

If you think imagining infinity is difficult,  try imagining nothing.  No, I don’t mean blank your mind.  I mean imagine nothingness.  NO!  I don’t mean a vacuum–empty space with no matter and energy.  I mean absolutely nothing:  no space and no time.  I’m betting you can’t do it, even if you think you can; you’re not, even if you think you are.   I merely conjectured that the concept of infinity could not exist in a finite universe, but I am firmly asserting that a conscious entity is incapable of imagining absolute nothingness.  It’s an oxymoron. By the mere fact of imagining you have to imagine something.  And while it might be pure philosophy to suggest it couldn’t be because we are incapable of imagining it, there is strong scientific argument for the “something out of nothing” impossibility of non-existence.  From Hawking on down, physicists have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as absolute vacuum, that space is full of quantum foam, seething with instability and particles of energy and matter popping in and out of existence.  If matter plus antimatter equals nothing, than by commutation, nothing equals anti-matter plus matter.  (Yes, I know. The intelligent design crowd will reject this and tell us that it is all too perfect.  God must have done it.  Really? So God can exist out of nothing but the universe can’t?  When they can tell me where god came from and offer some form of empirical evidence, I will consider their arguments; but they can’t, so I won’t.)  Final proof: we do exist. Maybe all other arguments are moot.  And anyway I have an out, as the prerequisite for this conjecture is “in an infinite multiverse.”  Let’s rest our neurons for the next installment: The Conjecture of the Future.

(As an entertaining aside, here is a YouTube video of Neal Degrasse Tyson rambling on some cosmic questions.   It includes his conclusion that intelligent life is inevitable.)

Comments

  1. Is it possible then, in your opinion, to posit that “In an infinite multi-verse we *must always* exist. i.e. there is always a version where we, personally, are alive. And if so, will we still get our mail?

    • In the most strict interpretation, Copenhagen says our mail is in a superposition of states, both delivered and undelivered. Many Worlds says that there are separate universes representing both possibilities. In the Sackler interpretation, sad to say, junk mail and spam will always find us. 😦

  2. Sorry for the lack of closing quotation mark. Now there is unnecessary tension in the universe.

  3. donmcybertect says:

    I don’t think nature needs/uses either a vacuum or infinity. It wouldn’t know what to do with them. I don’t think any of those physicists recognize infinity either.

    • There are physicists on both sides of the issue. I remain undecided…these are conjectures not assertions. My way of interpreting reality IF infinity exists anywhere other than the world of mathematics.

  4. great post! I feel that humans cannot know the ways of the world beyond our sensory capabilities…multi-verse existence is only a set of permutations and combinations of every action in this universe…an infinite set. The real world is only one and that is the one we are in. We have infinite probabilities of existence out of which only one materializes and that is the universe we see.

  5. My question is how long can a piece of string be? Assuming a finite beginning of the string, it can presumably extend to an infinite length. Yet if it has a beginning, how can it be infinitely long? Not strictly on topic, but I’d like to see a post on this paradox and its implications.

    • Good question. Perhaps you should read David Deutsche’s interesting book, The Beginning of Infinity. There are different types of infinity. Actual and potential. Countable and uncountable. And there are larger and smaller infinities as well. An example of the latter would be the set of all integers and the set of all even integers. The latter is twice the size of the former yet both are infinite. Some of this is covered in the video embedded in part two of my Conjecture of Infinity But strictly speaking, an infinite set can have no beginning or end (the set of all integers, both positive and negative) or a beginning but no end (the set of all positive integers).

  6. I’m so glad that some other than myself thinks that “there is no such thing as absolute vacuum, that space is full of quantum foam.” I’ve always had a problem with how light from the sun travels through a ‘void’ via radiation. I think that light travels very quickly from invisible particle to particle, across space to our Earth, in a transfer process more similar to conduction. Just because we can’t see or detect these particles, it doesn’t mean they’re not there.
    On a slightly different, more random note, I’ve always wondered where files that leave the Recycling Bin go once deleted, because they surely can’t disappear, can they? They must exist somewhere in some shape or form?

    Very interesting and informative post! Well Done! 🙂

    • That’s an easy question. They go the same place that all those odd, missing socks go that disappear from the wash: an alternate universe. 🙂
      As for your other observation–here’s another way to think of it. As the universe expands, what does it expand into? Thanks for your kind comments!

      • To us the universe looks as if it is expanding, but what if it’s not expanding at all, it just looks like it is because we are subject to time. What if our perception of the universe allows us to think that it’s expanding, but actually something much more complex beyond our understanding is taking place? 🙂

      • Oh, I have a post coming somewhat related to that, in the far distant future. 😉 But the Doppler effect is pretty solid science, until somebody proves otherwise.

      • I’ll be looking forward to it! 🙂

  7. Mike Walsh says:

    Not for nothing but when you bring God into the discussion you come off as arrogant. In my opinion it’s just as annoying to bring the discussion to ones non belief in God as it is when someone brings up their belief in God. Especially when that person made it clear he doesn’t want to venture there. With that said I think it’s just as much a leap of faith to believe in ever forming universes as an explanation since that is not provable either and also a leap of faith. Of course no matter how many universes there are you still have to go back to the origin of the first and explain that. Same with the idea of life being seeded on earth. It still does not explain the formation of the first.

    • Ah…in fact it is a leap of faith. A kind of scientific existentialism. But I have already stated that these are only conjectures of things that might be true. I stand more than ready to evolve, alter or completely discard them in light of further evidence. The Many Worlds interpretation is fascinating to speculate on, even if the many worlds are only potentials and not realities. But I have never asserted that it is absolutely true and in fact I am quite torn. So I have a worldview based on it being true, but one that I am by no means completely confident in. Appropriately, I am in a state of superposition believing it is both true and untrue! 🙂 At any rate I am an agnostic, and there are unanswered questions in both theology and science. I prefer to look at the world from the latter point of view–that is all.

      • Let me also clarify that my comment about God was meant to be a knock specifically at the intelligent design/creationist crowd, not at every belief in a god or higher power.

  8. I will definitely be coming back to this blog. I love these types of discussions, and Neil, too.

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  1. […] I Conjecture:  In an infinite multiverse we must exist (millenniumconjectures.com) Share this:ShareEmailLinkedInDiggFacebookPrintTwitterRedditStumbleUpon This entry was posted in All things Transhumanistic, Ontology of Self and tagged Big Bang, cosmology, God, Lawrence M. Krauss, nothingness. Bookmark the permalink. ← Mozart or Beethoven – who was da best ? […]

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