Intelligent Design Mathematics Philosophy

Infinity at Starbucks: Starring Laszlo Bencze and Art Battson

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<em>coffee</em> cup with moustache by thegreatmoustache on DaWanda.com Philosopher and photographer Laszlo Bencze was complaining to us recently,

The real problem with infinity as I have come to realize is not the mathematics and logic of it. Rather it’s that just about everybody has a firm opinion on the topic. Yes they do. Average people who haven’t cracked a math text since they failed Algebra I, know exactly what infinity means, how it functions, and how it is the answer to many perplexing questions. They KNOW that actual infinities exist and no amount of reasoning can argue them out of their certainty. Yes, I’ve tried. They regard all explaining as mere trickery. Furthermore, they KNOW that our universe is infinite, time is infinite, energy is infinite, and that the potential of people is infinite. Are you tempted to have a pleasant discussion with them at Starbucks about any of this? Don’t bother. They won’t listen and your discussion will turn into an unpleasant conflict with high odds of ending whatever budding friendship you may have had that person. You have been warned.

Christmas Cracker Cookie Cutter
No hogging. These are imports.

But multimedia guy Art Battson replied,

Don’t throw away that gift card to Starbucks quite yet.

If someone tries to convince you that an actual infinite of anything physical exists tell them how brilliant they are and how you plan to create an infinite number of universes. It’s actually quite easy. Take one universe and divide it by zero. Now that they have an infinite number of universes where anything and everything can happen, it follows that there is at least one universe (and it can be argued that there are an infinite number of universes) where the Chicago Cubs have won each and every World Series.

Assuming they are not from Chicago, they will readily admit the absurdity of their belief.

Now buy them that cup of coffee.

The discussion turned to a book by science writer Charles Seife, Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, (2000) wherein zero is presented as infinity’s twin.

And wherein it is shown that dividing by zero shows that Winton Churchill was a carrot.

But that’s perfect for multiverse thinking!

Okay, back to work really soon. Meanwhile,

See also: Multiverse cosmologist says the concept of infinity is ruining physics

No past infinity? But what about a minus past infinity?

and

Let’s just end infinity and be done with it?

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21 Replies to “Infinity at Starbucks: Starring Laszlo Bencze and Art Battson

  1. 1
    Mapou says:

    Bencze:

    The real problem with infinity as I have come to realize is not the mathematics and logic of it. Rather it’s that just about everybody has a firm opinion on the topic. Yes they do. Average people who haven’t cracked a math text since they failed Algebra I, know exactly what infinity means, how it functions, and how it is the answer to many perplexing questions. They KNOW that actual infinities exist and no amount of reasoning can argue them out of their certainty.

    Infinity is indeed crackpottery but the problem is not the average person in the street. The problem is the mathematicians, physicists, astronomers, church pastors, theologians and philosophers who believe and teach others to believe in the lie. Einstein’s physics, for example, by virtue of its requirement for continuous structures, is based on the existence of infinity. There can be no black holes or wormholes without a belief in infinity and yet we just heard the news that two black holes collided eons ago and their gravitational waves were detected by the LIGO team. Amazing. Modern physics is like religion. It demands blind faith from the faithful and yet it is resting on a Himalayan-size mountain of crap.

    Just saying.

  2. 2
    Mapou says:

    Thanks for posting this, News. Infinity news are always interesting.

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    There must be at least one universe where divide by zero is allowed.

  4. 4
    daveS says:

    They KNOW that actual infinities exist and no amount of reasoning can argue them out of their certainty. Yes, I’ve tried. They regard all explaining as mere trickery.

    I for one would like to take a look at Bencze’s explanation.

    IMHO, an actual physical infinity probably doesn’t exist, but I would be especially interested to know if this statement also refers to actual infinities in the mathematical realm.

  5. 5
    Mapou says:

    daveS:

    actual infinities in the mathematical realm

    This would be laughable if it weren’t so stupid.

  6. 6
    daveS says:

    This would be laughable if it weren’t so stupid.

    ¿Por qué no los dos?

  7. 7
    Me_Think says:

    Take one universe and divide it by zero. Now that they have an infinite number of universes…

    Paraphrasing Lawrence Krauss,
    Take one Philosopher’s brain and divide it by zero. Now you have…another zero!!

  8. 8
    Mapou says:

    Paraphrasing Lawrence Krauss

    Kraus is a believer in infinity, i.e., a full blown crackpot pretending to be a physicist.

  9. 9
    ellazimm says:

    Mapou

    What is the value of 1/(x-2) as x approaches 2? What is the tangent of 90 degrees?

    Also, what is your explanation of the LIGO data if it isn’t gravitational waves?

  10. 10
    Seversky says:

    So an infinite God is no problem but an infinite anything else is?

  11. 11
    Mapou says:

    ellazimm,

    I don’t have to give an explanation of the LIGO data to know that, whatever it was, it was not caused by gravitational waves. The LIGO team set out to prove Einstein’s prediction right as opposed to trying to falsify it. There is not a single experiment one can do to falsify the prediction of gravitational waves. This is not science. It’s a pile of crap based on a crappy theory: spacetime is fictitious nonsense.

    What is the value of 1/(x-2) as x approaches 2? What is the tangent of 90 degrees?

    What is your point?

  12. 12
    Mapou says:

    Seversky:

    So an infinite God is no problem but an infinite anything else is?

    It is a problem for me. Almost all Christians believe in an infinite God. This is what they are taught but I don’t know where they got this understanding. Infinity is an illogical concept. My God is neither infinite nor has he been around for an eternity. He is just exceedingly great because he’s been around for a very long time. God’s spirit (like all spirits, including ours) just is (nothing can be created or destroyed in the spiritual realm) but his body had a beginning. He is a self-made God. This is why he claims to be the first among all the Gods (there are others, including lesser Gods like humans) and why he is called the “ancient of days.”

    Just my take on it. Don’t let it bother you too much.

  13. 13
    ellazimm says:

    #11 Mapou

    I don’t have to give an explanation of the LIGO data to know that, whatever it was, it was not caused by gravitational waves. The LIGO team set out to prove Einstein’s prediction right as opposed to trying to falsify it. There is not a single experiment one can do to falsify the prediction of gravitational waves. This is not science. It’s a pile of crap based on a crappy theory: spacetime is fictitious nonsense.

    The detectors measured something. They were designed to look for behaviour that was predicted by a well established and useful theory. If you’re going to follow the data then you’ve got to have at least a guess about what was detected.

    What is your point?

    I want to know how you would handle those basic mathematical situations.

  14. 14
    Mapou says:

    ellazimm:

    The detectors measured something. They were designed to look for behaviour that was predicted by a well established and useful theory. If you’re going to follow the data then you’ve got to have at least a guess about what was detected.

    It is a lie that GR is a well established theory. As I have said elsewhere, it is based on a several assumptions (deterministic universe, continuous structures, unchanging block universe, 100% local reality, the physical existence of fictitious mathematical structures such as space and time) that are false right off the bat or impossible to falsify empirically. You don’t hear much about the crap hidden in the theory because most physicists are gutless con artists and liars. They understand that the public, who pays their salaries, would tell the physics community where to stick it if they really knew about those problems.

    The few things that are useful in GR can be easily derived from the Michelson-Morley experiments. There is no need to invoke any kind of voodoo nonsense. GR theorists, like Darwinists, love to conjure up all sorts of crappy, pseudoscientific stories to attempt to explain problems with their dumb theory such as why the solar system is stable in spite of the cretinous claim that gravity travels at c.

    The LIGO set-up is in an extremely noisy environment (earth and the solar system) that dwarfs the signals they are trying to measure by many orders of magnitude. Since I believe that gravity is an instantaneous, nonlocal phenomenon, a single solar flare would be enough to trigger a reading. Besides, science is established from experimental replication. It is a scandal that the entire world is told that gravitational waves have been detected when nobody else can duplicate the experiment without spending billions of dollars. And like I said earlier, science moves forward through falsification experiments, not experiments designed to corroborate a theory.

    I want to know how you would handle those basic mathematical situations.

    The context here is infinity. Mathematical equations do not poof infinity into existence anymore than writing an infinity symbol on a piece of paper. We have no problem using finite and discrete computers to solve equations. If infinity was necessary to solve calculus equations or any other kind of equations, that would be impossible. After all, numbers are finite.

    PS. As Immanuel Kant would have said, if infinity exists, where is it? If space exists, where is it? If time exists, where is it?

  15. 15
    ellazimm says:

    #14 Mapou

    It is a lie that GR is a well established theory. As I have said elsewhere, it is based on a several assumptions (deterministic universe, continuous structures, unchanging block universe, 100% local reality, the physical existence of fictitious mathematical structures such as space and time) that are false right off the bat or impossible to falsify empirically. You don’t hear much about the crap hidden in the theory because most physicists are gutless con artists and liars. They understand that the public, who pays their salaries, would tell the physics community where to stick it if they really knew about those problems.

    So there’s a giant conspiracy to take the money and fake it.

    The LIGO set-up is in an extremely noisy environment that dwarfs the signal they are trying to measure by many orders of magnitude. Since I believe that gravity is an instantaneous, non local phenomena, a single solar flare would be enough to trigger a reading. Besides, science is established from experimental replication. It is a scandal that the entire world is told that gravitational waves have been detected when nobody else can duplicate the experiment without spending billions of dollars. And like I said earlier, science moves forward through falsification experiments, not experiments designed to corroborate a theory.

    What experimental data do you have that supports your ‘belief’ that gravity is instantaneous?

    I agree about replication and, as I understand it, other scientists are going to try and set up similar rigs. You do know that there were two LIGO detectors that observed the same event?

    The context here is infinity. Mathematical equations do not poof infinity into existence anymore than writing an infinity symbol on a piece of paper. We have no problem using finite and discrete computers to solve equations. If infinity was necessary to solve calculus equations or any other kind of equations, that would be impossible. After all, numbers are finite.

    I’m not saying they ‘poof’ infinity into existence. I’m asking you how you deal with those situations. Sin(x) and cos(x) are continuous functions. Tan(x) is not so how do you handle the discontinuities?

    How about this: are there finitely many prime numbers? Does our mathematical system change depending on your answer?

  16. 16
    Mapou says:

    There is no conspiracy, just a bunch of cult members doing what’s in their best career interest by being gutless jackasses without honor. I don’t like repeating myself but here goes. The evidence that gravity is instantaneous is the observation that the solar system is stable. It would not be otherwise.

    I’m not interested in your mathematical games unless you have an argument for the existence of infinity. And whatever argument you have, I will shoot it down.

  17. 17
    ellazimm says:

    #16 Mapou

    There is no conspiracy, just a bunch of cult members doing what’s in their best career interest by being gutless jackasses without honor. I don’t like repeating myself but here goes. The evidence that gravity is instantaneous is the observation that the solar system is stable. It would not be otherwise.

    Is it stable? The distance between the earth and the moon is changing. There are still asteroids on rogue trajectories. A big CME could wipe us out. Even the earth’s magnetic field is in flux.

    So you have no explanation for the data the two LIGO detectors recorded? Correct?

    I’m not interested in your mathematical games unless you have an argument for the existence of infinity. And whatever argument you have, I will shoot it down.

    I want to know what you think the value of the tangent of 90 degrees is. And whether or not there are finitely many prime numbers. These are pretty basic issues that need to be addressed in mathematics. What’s the harm in answering the questions?

  18. 18
    Mapou says:

    ellazimm,

    You are wasting my time and boring me with your dishonesty. Go pack it somewhere. See ya.

  19. 19
    ellazimm says:

    #18 Mapou

    You are wasting my time and boring me with your dishonesty. Go pack it somewhere. See ya.

    If you can’t answer the questions about the LIGO data or the mathematics why not just say so?

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    But what are we going to do with that little sideways eight symbol if . . . infinity isn’t “real”??? (What does it mean for something as abstract as a number or a concept to be real? Besides, I vividly recall pasting up a Mobius strip and showing that it has ONE surface, then trying the cut it along the middle then cut it along the resulting strip again trick. (See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%B6bius_strip#Properties ) The world of the logic of structure and quantity affects the physical one but is stranger than we can imagine.)

  21. 21
    Me_Think says:

    It’s a waste of time dealing with Mapou. He is stuck in Block Universe where nothing moves and there is no time. In his Block Universe there is beer and bag of Cheetos. I am surprised he forgot to add his punch line :

    I’ll be watching the whole circus unfold with a bag of Cheetos in one hand, a beer in the other and a smirk on my face

    🙂

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