the universe thinggreenspun.com : LUSENET : I Wasn't Built to Get Up at this Time : One Thread
It's scary - I was all ready to write a journal entry about a theory about the universe that I had read about in "The Beach" by Alex Garland.. And then I logged on to your site and you had written it already.
(by the way, I wrote mine anyway, which you can read here)
Where did you read about this? Is there a name for it? Is it the same as the concept of parallel universes, or not?
And everyone else... what do you think might exist on all those other planets? Well, if you believe in this idea, I should say, what do you think DOES exist? What has happened to you on other planets? Who are you on other planets?
-- Kathy (email@example.com), December 06, 2000
Actually, just to be the anal-retentive person that I am, I'm going to point out that Tim's arguement is 'a load of dingo's kidneys', to quote The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.
First off, if the universe is infinite in size(this is unproven), there could still be a finite amount of planets and stars. The rest of the matter could just be an infinite amount of dust or subatomic particles. Secondly, you can have an infinite amount of planets without even having a single one that is similar to Earth. They could all just be copies of Mars but each a little bit smaller. For example, one could be an inch smaller in diameter, the next half an inch smaller, then 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 and so on. This allows for infinite planets, but none would even have intelligent life.
So really, your conclusions don't follow from your premise. Just thought I'd point that out.
Of course, this doesn't prove that there aren't other planets earily similar to this. It is an interesting idea, of course. If we were to accept your hypotesis that every possible planet exists, then you could see the infinite worlds tht were the same as this one except for your own decisions. You could see the infinitely many choices you could have made at any time in your life and what the outcome was. I find that deeply intruiging.
-- Mattt Enss (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 06, 2000.
I developed the idea from something I heard on the Tommy Boyd radio show.
As for Matthew's post, it was far too intellegent for me to reply, so I'm just going to make fun of your surname. Enss. Heh.
I'm kidding. I see what your saying, but I don't really agree with the Mars theory. If there are an infinate number of planets, surely that really does mean infinate possibilites? Which would include variations on Mars, but *also* Earth. Also *everything*?
And to quote Woody Allen, "Modern scientists believe that the earth is finite. Which is comforting - particularly to those of us who can never find anything!"
-- Tim (email@example.com), December 06, 2000.
I just want to say that the idea of infinite Earths is fairly egocentric... or would that be ethnocentric. But I believe in it anyway, because it makes me happy to think about... for instance, the other Me on some Earth somewhere actually got the balls to ask out Kris Walker in 9th grade. However, I think that if there are infinite Earths, there would also have to be infinite other planets too... wherein like, the Earth is exactly the same as this Earth here, and Mars is a quarter inch larger, and so on. I actually think of it more like infinite copies of the universe, not just of one planet.
-- Angelalala (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 07, 2000.
In regards to infinity:
Seeing as I'm an aspiring mathematician(I'm a student enrolled in the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo), I'll look at infinity in the realm of mathematics, which is where the term originates from.
Lets take the natural, or counting, numbers. These are all the positive integers, i.e. 1,2,3,4,5 and on and on. This is a set of infinite numbers; you cannot count how many there are as there is no 'last' number. Yet just because this is an infinite list of number doesn't mean that all number are in the list; for instance 0, 3.5 and -42 are not in the list. That doesn't make the list finite.
In short, infinite means an unlimited amount of items, not every item possible.
-- Mattt Enss (email@example.com), December 07, 2000.
Another interesting point on this has to do with the assumption of an infinite universe and Albert Einstein's theory of the universe (which is shared by many other scientists and was not actually thought up by Einstein, he just refined it). This theory infers that more likely than not, the universe is finite. This comes from the theory's point that the universe is expanding, and could eventually begin to condense again. This leads to the idea that the amount of stuff in the universe is finite as well. It would be difficult to have an infinite amount of matter and energy in a finite space. If one assumes the above, then the idea of an infinite number of planets of which an infinite number are like Earth is then pretty far-fetched. If one believes in parallel universes which are separate from our own, and believes that there are an infinite number of those, then the idea of an infinite number of planets similar to Earth is very plausible. It all depends on the details of the very first assumption that is made in the theory.
-- Aine (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 07, 2000.
Well, aside frok the whole technical proof thing ,in which I'm sure there are many valuble points,I'd like to add my own.If there WERE in infinite number of planets then surely on one of them the whole atomic doo-dah would have gone wrong and that planet would be destroyed.Therefore wou;ld there not be infity -1 planets,meaning not infinity, meaning that infinity must be finite? Anyway, everyone else makes sensible comments and I use the word doo-dahh (and Tommy Bopyd? a middle aged man who skateboards? I wouldn't listen to him if I were you?!)
-- Mr Rubery! (email@example.com), December 07, 2000.
heh heh...sam like pie...
-- sam (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 07, 2000.
To Mr. Rubery: Infinity minus one is still infinity.
-- Mattt Enss (email@example.com), December 11, 2000.
I don't want to get dragged into another one of these arguments. I had one with Mrs Booth(my maths teacher) and that was scary enough but in that case, what is infinity-infinity? Surely it is either infinity (my suggestion) or 0 (her suggestion? All this rubbish mucks my head up though so don't try too hard!
-- Mr Rubery! (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 11, 2000.
What if the universe does not exist, that we only imagine that it is there. What if life and every atom & sub atomic particle is only in a singular or mass consciousness, that is dreaming, or having a nightmare, if you please, that what appears to be real and mesurable, is not but that it can be looked at and felt and observed only in the imagination.
J von Trapp
-- J von Trapp (email@example.com), March 09, 2003.