MIT multiverse theorist Max Tegmark tells us why he thinks so:

Physics is all about predicting the future from the past, but inflation seems to sabotage this. When we try to predict the probability that something particular will happen, inflation always gives the same useless answer: infinity divided by infinity. The problem is that whatever experiment you make, inflation predicts there will be infinitely many copies of you, far away in our infinite space, obtaining each physically possible outcome; and despite years of teeth-grinding in the cosmology community, no consensus has emerged on how to extract sensible answers from these infinities. So, strictly speaking, we physicists can no longer predict anything at all!

However did Newton and Einstein manage? Oh wait, possibly by developing theories that the evidence supported, instead of theories like the multiverse, to which evidence is irrelevant—and then declaring war on falsifiability, as some of Tegmark’s colleagues have done.

In the past, many venerable mathematicians were skeptical of infinity and the continuum. The legendary Carl Friedrich Gauss denied that anything infinite really exists, saying “Infinity is merely a way of speaking” and “I protest against the use of infinite magnitude as something completed, which is never permissible in mathematics.” In the past century, however, infinity has become mathematically mainstream, and most physicists and mathematicians have become so enamored with infinity that they rarely question it. Why? Basically, because infinity is an extremely convenient approximation for which we haven’t discovered convenient alternatives. More.

Rob Sheldon responds,

A classic case of shooting the messenger.

Infinity was supposedly a modern invention, but we have a palimpset with Archimedes proof using the concept of infinity.

When the palimpset was discovered, it shook up the history-of-science community because contrary to “evolutionary” expectations, it showed that ancient Greeks were quite comfortable with the idea of infinity. So infinity is neither new nor an aberration nor dispensable, and least of all, pernicious.

So why the jihad against infinity? The problem mentioned in this blog, is the metaphysics of cosmology, both inflation and multiverses. These are rightly bad in their own terms, there is no need to drag mathematics down into the mud with them. A much better title for the blog would be “Materialism is a beautiful concept – and its ruining physics.”

The multiverse, (where everything turns out to be true, except philosophy and religion) is not, strictly speaking, a “war on science” (pretty tired rhetoric, eh?) in the sense of Boko Haram – which is deadly serious about the war. No, it means switching science from discovering and assessing evidence about the world we live in to cherrypicking evidence for naturalism, irrespective of the pattern of the evidence. That is why crackpot cosmology gets funded, and ideas that should long ago have been discarded (like string theory) stay alive. The road to reality is the road not taken.

Admittedly, the difference may be hard to spot.

*Note:* Infinity, as a math concept, is discussed here at *Plus Maths*.

*See also:* Lost manuscripts, recovered after exhaustive efforts, establish Archimedes as the founder of combinatorics

and

Consciousness as a fourth state of matter (Tegmark)

For the record, I agree with Tegmark on infinity. It’s a pseudoscientific concept. It is really never used anywhere, except in name only. Newton never used it and neither did Einstein. Calculus doesn’t use it either in spite of claims to the contrary. Otherwise, it would be impossible to solve calculus equations on a finite digital computer.

That being said, Tegmark is wrong about almost everything else including the multiverse, the existence of space/distance and the time dimension. I realize that many Christians love infinity. How else can God be infinite, omnipotent and omniscient, right? They’re wrong, IMO. The Biblical God never claimed such things about himself. On the contrary, he claimed the exact opposite. Just saying.

Here is a video on the struggle to tame infinity:

Georg Cantor started the ball rolling on ‘taming infinity’ here:

The final fruit of ‘taming infinity’ was Godel’s incompleteness theorem:

How the incompleteness theorem applies to material computers and minds in general is commented on here in the follwing video clip by Gregory Chaitin

The incompleteness theorem is extremely bad news for people who believe that there can be a purely mathematical ‘theory of everything’. Even Hawking himself at one time admitted this (and apparently subsequently forgot):

Stanley Jaki comments here:

please note Jaki stated

“even if the theory happened to account for perfect accuracy for all phenomena of the physical world known at a particular time”, but that is not what we have, we have two very different theories that refuse to be reconciled with each other:Remarkably, infinity itself appears to be the main reason why these two theories cannot be united. The conflict of reconciling General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics appears to arise from the inability of either theory to successfully deal with the Zero/Infinity conflict that crops up in different places of each theory:

Yet if we allow God to ‘play the role of a person’, (i.e. agent causality vs. blind causality), in mathematics as even Godel himself allowed,,,,

If we rightly allow agent causality into math, then a resolution between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity readily pops out for us that resolves the infinity problem between the two theories.

The unification, into a ‘theory of everything’, between what is in essence the ‘infinite Theistic world of Quantum Mechanics’ and the ‘finite Materialistic world of the space-time of General Relativity’ seems to be directly related to what Jesus apparently joined together with His resurrection, i.e. related to the unification of infinite God with finite man. Dr. William Dembski in this following comment, though not directly addressing the Zero/Infinity conflict in General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, offers insight into this ‘unification’ of the infinite and the finite:

Moreover there is actual physical evidence that lends strong support to the position that the ‘Zero/Infinity conflict’, we find between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, was successfully dealt with by Christ.

As would be expected, if General Relativity were successfully dealt with in the resurrection of Jesus from death, we find that gravity was apparently overcome in the resurrection event of Christ from death:

Moreover, as would be expected if General Relativity (Gravity), and Quantum Mechanics/Special Relativity (QED), were truly unified in the resurrection of Christ from death, the image on the shroud is found to be formed by a quantum process. The image was not formed by a ‘classical’ process:

Personally, considering the extreme difficulty that many brilliant minds have had in trying to reconcile Quantum Mechanics and special relativity(QED), with Gravity,

Considering that extreme difficulty, I consider the preceding ‘quantum’ nuance on the Shroud of Turin to be a subtle, but powerful, evidence substantiating Christ’s primary claim as to being our Savior from sin, death, and hell:

corrected link to post 3:

Michio Kaku – The Collapse Of Physics As We Know It ? – video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfrvTbsRWHs

Mapou, in which passages of the Bible does God claim to be finite (though a case could be made that the “exact opposite” of infinity is, in fact, zero or nothing), impotent, and ignorant? I suppose you could quibble about whether or not “omnipotent” means “can do anything” (which implies one could even do things logically contradictory like creating a squared circle) or “can do anything doable” or whether “omniscient” means “knows everything” or “knows everything knowable”. But I recall the bible saying things like “If I ascend into the heavens, you are there. If I make my bed in the depths, you are there” or “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be”(Psalm 139) Those sound rather like “omniscient” and “omnipresent”.

God created spacetime, matter, and energy. Since He exists apart from space and time neither spacial references (to his size) or chronological references (his age, his perception of past, present, or future, questions about what existed “before” God or what will come “after” God) have any meaning. The closest term we have, then, to those questions so often asked by children first grappling with the concept of God: “How big is God?”, “How old is God?” is “infinity” (limitless, boundless, immeasurable). There is no ruler long enough to measure how big a being might be who exists outside of, and yet throughout all of Space. There is no calendar or clock that could date a being who exists outside of Time, yes is both the beginning and end, and in whom, at every moment, we “live, move, and have our being.”

And if calculus doesn’t use infinity, what is my daughter doing in her pre-calc class at university with that little sideways “8”? You, obviously, did not have my calc professor. Newton may not have used infinity in his math, but Leibniz speculated on the implications of infinity in his calculus, that later found fruition when John Wallis used it to calculate areas under curves. I know I find some of the ideas found in the field of non-Euclidean geometry weird, but even my wife was able to grasp them when she read Leonard Mlodinow’s book “Euclid’s Window”. And non-Euclidean geometry is utterly dependent upon the impact of infinite values on lines, curves, planes, and volumes.

Mapou,

I don’t believe that’s true. Sure, you can solve lots of equations *approximately* (and sometimes exactly) on a computer, but that doesn’t mean calculus doesn’t “use” infinity.

Here’s a challenge: What’s the area under the standard normal curve?

Mapou:Otherwise, it would be impossible to solve calculus equations on a finite digital computer.http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3639#comic