shape of our universe theory and questions..

The non amateur stuff. Hawking, black holes, that sort of thing

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davep
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Re: The Greek view..

Post by davep »

brian livesey wrote:It seems that our actions must be restricted to knowing the "bits" that make up our universe.
What makes you say "restricted"?
brian livesey wrote:In attempting to find the "ultimate" origin of the universe itself,are we not being like a goldfish in an opaque bowl,trying to work out what's on the outside?
The analogy might work at some level -- if you think there's an "outside". But, even if the analogy worked at all, so what?
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Epistemological puzzle..

Post by brian livesey »

Mm, but is it an answer? How do we get round the "part not being greater than the whole" limitation?
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Post by davep »

In what way is it a "limitation"? And what is it a limitation of?
brian livesey
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Er..

Post by brian livesey »

Mm, maybe the simile of the opaque gold fish bowl has given the wrong impression. I,m not suggesting that there's an "outside" to reality,although there might be. Let's phrase it another way. If the part can never be greater than the whole, our place in the universe (i.e. everything that exists,past,present and future, including Time),must always remain subjective. As part of the whole,how can we hope to view the whole objectively? Anyone for Scrabble?
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Post by davep »

I'm still unclear as to what you think the "part" and the "whole" are and how they relate to this thread so far. Could you explain this a bit more please?
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Post by Cliff »

Dear al
If Brian is saying what I think he means, then I will say that I think I am at least partly in agreement with him.
I do not think there is anything wrong with anyone "conjecturing" about the various aspects of such things as the Big Bang or the shape of the Universe or what happened before the Big Bang or such sort of things . However, I am inclined to think that anyones conjecture in these issues is pretty well as good as anyone elses.
Even "top" scientists ideas may be no more correct than the average idiot on some of these matters. In saying that I do not mean to say that the "top" scientists should not have or even not express opinions on such controversial issues, but at the end of the day their ideas may not be much, if any better, than anyone elses. As I have said before, my own philosophy is "always a little further", my emphasis being a little. Sometimes I think some scientists are trying to jump too far ahead.
Of course, there is always the possibility of someone breaking the mundane mould eg Einstein.
With regards the shape of the Universe it occurs to me that it is possible for the universe to have a shape in some sort of mathematical terminology but the definerd shape is meaningless in an ordinary average manss terms.
Best wishes from Cliff
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Relatively speaking..

Post by brian livesey »

Mm, there seem to be two reasons why knowledge of the Universe must always remain limited.
Firstly,being a part of the whole,hence subjective to it,we interpret reality in terms of human consciousness;different generations have regarded the Universe in different ways.depending on their actual needs at a particular time.
The Geocentric system was perfectly practical for the agricultural cycles it served. In fact, Geocentrism still applies if we wish to compile a nautical almanac,i.e. predicting tides. On the other hand,if we want to send a rocket to Mars,we assume Heliocentrism. Likewise,Relativity theory's useful in cosmology. Which of the three systems is the valid one? Answer: all three,it depends on our frame of reference.
Secondly, the Universe is evolving,i.e. everthing is in the process of becoming something else. To quote a Taoist sage: "What seems normal now will soon seem strange". Perpetual change means that "absolute knowledge" is beyond our grasp. Even"natural laws" - which are metaphors of reality,invented by us humans for purposes of prediction and control - change with time. Even Time itself changes. There's no such thing as absolute time,this is easily proven by comparing clocks. It's all relative.. .
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Post by davep »

That's all more or less pretty obvious and accepted. What should it tell us in relation to the subject of this thread?
brian livesey
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The whole part..

Post by brian livesey »

We are the "part" and the Universe is the "whole".
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Post by davep »

Like I said, this much is obvious -- but I'm still unclear what this little fact tells us in relation to this thread (either the questions that started it or the discussion that follows).
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Full circle..

Post by brian livesey »

As the part can never be greater than the whole,absolute knowledge of the whole by the part is unattainable,thank goodness! Imagine a Universe devoid of mysteries.. . :wink:
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Re: Full circle..

Post by davep »

brian livesey wrote:As the part can never be greater than the whole,absolute knowledge of the whole by the part is unattainable
How does the latter follow from the former? And where does this business of "absolute knowledge" come from?
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Checkmate..

Post by brian livesey »

How does the latter NOT follow from the former?
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Post by davep »

That's why I asked what you meant by "absolute knowledge", especially in relation to this thread.
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Ever-changing..

Post by brian livesey »

By "absolute knowledge", meaning complete knowledge of the Universe. How can we know everything about something that's ever-changing?
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