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Infinite universe?? Where will it all end.... so to speak.

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posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 06:01 AM
I am sure this has been tackled on here before... but it is something that I have been musing over for many years now....

Ok, most of us accept that the universe as we know and perceive it, will eventually, one day, come to an end. This understanding is intrinsically linked to our general belief that the universe must have had a beginning, an unfortunate by-product of causality and the laws of thermodynamics of course. Most, well, all to be truthfull, of us will be long gone by the time this cataclysmic event actually takes place, but I find myself constantly intrigued by the question of what will eventually happen, not only to our tiny corner of the small amount of space we can actually see, but to the entire universe itself. When beginning to think of the universe as an entity you immediately come across questions that are not only inconceivable, but impossible to prove. These questions are the questions of boundary, mass, structure, and location, to name a few.

If we accept that the universe "Began" at a given time and location with the explosion of matter from a space/time singularity, we have to first ask ourselves "where did this event take place"? What was this singularity existing within before the event took place? our brains tell us that logically there must have been another universe for this "bubble" universe to have formed in, this is the only explanation that we can naturally come to, because this is the only form of existence that we have experience with, and it is all we can do to apply experience, logic and reason to the formation of our opinions. Again, we are within the realms of imagination and speculation, an all too familiar bed-fellow in this game. So, in order for us to carry on with the argument we must accept that the universe as we know it today was once a "black hole", a tiny point in space/time with zero volume and infinite density, (theres that word, infinite, you'll be hearing more of that believe me), and no mechanics of time. Now, i don't usually like people telling me to believe or accept things that can't be proved to me, but for the sake of this ramble, lets accept that small point. If we do accept this we have to accept that the universe was smaller at some point in time, such as 3 minutes after the big bang for instance. So, again, this would suggest an actual boundary. The actual theory that the universe is expanding, backed up by the discovery that most of the observable galaxies/stars within our vicinity are moving away from us at roughly the same speed, does itself suggest that it must have a centre, and naturally "edges". Some say the universe is donut shaped, now, i find this conceivable given that einstein suggested, and later proved, as far as he possibly could, that light travelling over extremely large distances is actually refracted minutely by distant and weak gravitational forces, so that it effectively "bends"... if we accept this we must surely accept it is plausible that should you travel far enough in a straight line, at some point in the future, you will end up back where you started, (a feeling anyone that has been through American airport security recently will be all too familiar with). But why the hole in the middle i ask? this smacks of insanity, surely of all the mathematical structures and shapes we know of the universe can't be shaped like a fried dough cake..... I don't think my sanity could cope with that....

So, to imagine that the universe has a boundary, an actual "end", is very difficult, for what would exist outside of that boundary? but at the same time its even harder to accept that it may not have one, given the human minds apparent inability to comprehend infinity as a figure, or an idea. So, the answer to that one eludes us, thats a kind of running theme to be honest, but please persevere.....

Ok, the second question is the question of the present. We can tell by observing the "red shift" (a fluctuation in radiational output, and on a visible level, colour) of distant stars and galaxies, that the universe is expanding, a subject much written about and discussed by Mr S. Hawking, my original inspiration for this piece. Not only that, but it happens to be expanding at exactly a rate just below that rate at which it would begin to contract, eventually collapsing back in on itself and re-forming a singularity. So, thats a bit lucky then?..... not only that but the precise values of the many environmental conditions that interact to make the world as we know it possible are intrinsically linked to each other, each needing and relying on all the others for the formation of matter as we know it. Without these exact measurements for density and temperature and matter to anti-matter ratio, electrons would not be able to effectively orbit the nucleus of an atom, meaning that the very building blocks of life and matter itself could not, and would not, form. You would end up with a kind of milky solution of electrons, protons and neutrons all floating around space with not much to do, what a terrible waste.

So, we are left with the insight that the "settings", if you will, at the exact moment of the creation of the universe, had to be precise, some may even say "set", in order for us to see what we see today.... now, Stephen argue's that this suggests the existence of a "higher power" or god like figure, "just messing about and that", however, I find this hard to believe, not because I dis-agree with him, but because to believe this would make a complete breakdown and re-formation of my belief system necessary, an undertaking that I find frightening to be honest. So, I choose to believe that its just a fluke, that this existence is happening, because it just so happens that it can. It exists because it can exist. Some may call this ignorance, I call it Hawking ignoring.... i mean c'mon, he can't know everything, can he?

I point you towards Occam's razor for answering some of the harder questions of metaphysics and philosphy.

Occam's razor states that the explanation of any phonomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating, those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory theory. In short, when given two equally valid explanations for a phenomenon, you should embrace the less complicated formulation, for its most likely the correct one.


posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 06:36 AM
reply to post by PerfectAnomoly

You are a 'black hole' experiencing itself.
Bill hicks will tell you the same.

edit on 27-7-2011 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 06:43 AM
Wow, great read. Thanks.
I would have to pretty much agree with you on the most part.
This has something I have been pondering quite a bit lately (or as my girlfriend recently told me "too much")

Might have a bit of trouble falling asleep tonight.
Much to think about.

posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 07:07 AM
What lies beyond? There is no 'beyond'. At least not in a way that we can really percieve with our little brains. If you were to travel in a straight line and eventually end up at the same point then this would point to the fact that, at least in the material world/universe in which we live and think, that this universe is all that there is.

There is of course always the concept of parallel universes. But then these are not something that you would ever be able to reach physically, even if you could live forever and travel at the speed of light. They would exist on totally different dimensions. But the concept of parallel universes is the answer to your 2nd question....

Imagine an infinite sea of universes representing all possibilities that could and will ever happen. So for example, using this concept, there could be a universe that exists where everything is exactly the same as ours, and everything that has happened is exactly the same as ours, except you had eggs this morning for breakfast instead of toast and marmalade. Now the differences between these two universes would be so small that you would never even know if you were comparing the two, but now imagine if other more major changes had taken place, or if the universal constants were different.

Imagine again this sea of infinite universes. Very very few would actually have the right conditions to support life, at least as we know it. Therefore it is only in these universes with the right conditions to support life that beings could arise, become intelligent, and begin to wonder 'Why does everything seem so perfectly fine tuned for life?"

In all the other universes where the physical constants are different there is no life wondering why everything seems just right for its existance

posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 07:35 AM
We always think the universe began and that we appeared from somewhere else and landed here, feeling we have to adapt and fit in.
We question how can it all work. But if it was all inside you it would be a product of you for you and of course it would support you/life because that is the product/result.

posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 07:40 AM
reply to post by Itisnowagain

Indeed......Thanks for your kind words.... quote!

"The world is like a ride at an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think that it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly coloured, and it's very loud and it's fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question - is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us. They say 'Hey! Don't worry, don't be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride.' And we...kill those people. Ha ha ha. 'Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride. SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and family. This just has to be real.' It's just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. But it doesn't matter because: it's just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings, and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourselves off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Here's what you can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defence each year, and instead spend it feeding, clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, for ever, in peace".
Bill Hicks

posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 07:41 AM
reply to post by homeslice

You're welcome... thanks for the kind words. I'd be interested to hear you repost? Any ideas/comments?

posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 07:51 AM
reply to post by 1littlewolf

Yes, I am familiar with the "parallel" argument, which is sort of similar to the bubble universe theory that I briefly touch upon....

Question...... how can we actually "locate" the seperate universes? I would assume that your assertion that we cannot "travel" between two seperate universes, alludes to the idea that they are not spacially related, that no information can pass between them... So where would these new universes be created, within what? An ether? Because even that is something...

This is the problem I always come up against when going through this in my head.... even nothing is something, but then something, cannot be nothing....

If we assume there is a "space" somewhere for the new universe to expand into, then we must assume that our universe does indeed have an edge.... and that these other universes exist somewhere in this "space".

See, I find it hard to imagine another reality, limitiations of the human brain I suppose, all our supposition needs to based upon known knowns... and some unknown knowns... (Thanks for that Cheney!)

We can only use our limited? perception of the world around us to base our theoretical models on.


posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 08:05 AM
reply to post by PerfectAnomoly

Have a look at this;
if you have 5 mins to spare.

posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 08:07 AM
reply to post by PerfectAnomoly

I find the point about "something cannot be nothing" interesting because of infinity, when we use a particle collider to view ever smaller particles, waves or fluctuations we are looking deeper into infinity, i think science tells us there is a limit; plank scale but my mind cannot comprehend this limit and my natural thoughts are that you can keep going deeper yet finding that 99.999999% of what you are looking at is "nothing", the deeper you go the more nothing you find. Yes there is always going to be a bit of something there but how do we ever grasp it, in its full "something" entirety

I hope some of that makes sense :-)

posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 08:50 AM
reply to post by Itisnowagain

Amusing but basically, yes! These concepts are difficult to discuss because we can't reference the source either when speaking of ourselves or speaking of the Universe.

posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 09:05 AM
reply to post by coffeesniffer

It does make sense.... at least to my twisted logic!

Your statement semms to confirm mine... that even when you appear to have nothing, something is there.... I like the comment that "the deeper you go, the less you can see"...... interesting point..... I suppose we can go from a multi cellular item, to an atom, then to the constituents of the atom, the nucleus and the protons/electrons etc.... then within the nucleus we have 3 quarks, or wavelenghts of light....... now, as far as I know this is as far as we can go at present.. although I seem to remember someone proposing another level??

String theory however models the inner workings of the atom differently....

I have always found it interesting that everything we perceive is actually made up of different wavelengths of light.... everything... observable and non observable... This would sugges to me that nothing can travel faster than light, because everything is light itself....

posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 09:20 AM
reply to post by PerfectAnomoly

But can there really be nothing if you're there to observe the nothing and if the observer was missing would anything exist? Does the light go off when you shut the refrigerator door? Without an observer it really doesn't matter if the light is on or off.

Watched the most recent Harry Potter movie this weekend and something that Dumbledore says to Harry I thought was really profound. When Harry is killed and he is talking with Dumbledore in the white train station he asks "Is this real or is it just happening in my mind?" Dumbledore replies "Of course it's happening in your mind but that doesn't mean it isn't real."

So long as there is an observer to see the edge of the universe then there is no edge of the universe. It's all probably just a hologram anyway.

posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 09:21 AM
reply to post by PerfectAnomoly

Ha ha unfortunately I can give you no definates in answer to your question as I have not delved far enough into quantumn physics and my old acid dealer was institutionalised about 6 years ago.

The whole parallel/bubble universe thing is also kinda problematic to me as it adds a whole new dimension to my 'We are all one/we are all God trying to know himself/everything is energy' worldview which I've finely honed over many years. But it does help me when I have a lot of 'what if I'd done this instead of that/butterfly in the Amazon tsnami off Japan' type thoughts. Hopefully a herbal warrior such as yourself can see what I'm getting at.....

Our brains and senses themselves are merely tools and as such they have their limitations. I think a lot of it comes down to semantics for as soon as we label something 'nothing' or something 'something' it suddenly has to conform to a set of parameters that our mind has already given the concept of 'nothing' or something'. Usually these words are simply applied to everyday mundain things, and the concepts we're discussing are far beyond that.

Is something nothing or is nothing is kinda like asking

"What's in the cupboard?"


"No, there's still some oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide, half a jar of pickles and a cockroach."

One never opens an 'empty' box and expects to find a vortex to the abyss.

To go down the parallel universe concept again, I don't think its important to know where exactly they sit spatially in relation to each other. Whether they all sit next to each other like frogspawn in a pond, or whether they're all overlaid one on top of the other like a stack of transparencies is not something we'll ever be able to establish scientifically, nor do I think it matters. Whether information can pass between them or not I could not tell you either but there are a few quantum physics theories where electrons do routinely disappear between the two without the hinderances of space or time.

Essentially I'm agreeing with your end paragraphs, our senses and brain are limited even in this universe, let alone when considering what lies beyond. I couldn't even get to the midway point of Stephen Hawkings's 'Universe in a nutshell', and that book had pictures!!! Subconsciously I have no issue with the universe not having an 'edge' and 'nothing' being beyond it, but when i try and put into to consious thoughts and words it kinda comes out as 'bleh'

Good luck with your search

edit on 27/7/2011 by 1littlewolf because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 09:23 AM
In response to your last post, this is a dream I had when I was in my mid teens and has very much colored my view of the nature of the universe:

I was a small boy walking down the beach. The sun had just set and a breeze gently ruffled my hair. It was a warm summer's night and I was enjoying the feeling water washing up over my toes. Looking ahead, I noticed that a small dark stone had been left behind by the retreating waves. I picked it up and began studying all the different grains across its dark surface. One particular grain caught my and and I began to look even closer still....

I could make out each molecule present within this grain, and in turn each atom within this molecule. One particular atom sparkeld with tiny pin pricks of light. I realised they were stars. Around one particular star I saw a number of planets, one of which was blue. Across the surface of this planet were continents, and on the edge of one was a beach. On this beach I began to make out a figure, and I saw it was was a small boy that looked very much like myself. The boy was looking at something. It was a smooth dark stone...

I looked around quickly to the stars above. And for the most fleeting of moments, I swear I saw a a face, my face, staring down at me from the heavens, before suddenly it turned away.
edit on 27/7/2011 by 1littlewolf because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 09:51 AM

Originally posted by dbates
reply to post by PerfectAnomoly

Does the light go off when you shut the refrigerator door? Without an observer it really doesn't matter if the light is on or off.

You say that.... but my electricity bill says different! It certainly matters to southern electric...! (Apologies for the crass comment in advance!)....

Surely, whether something is being observed or not does not define whether it matters.... it matters to me whether i am observing it or not...... I suppose we now need to define "matter"!


posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 09:57 AM
reply to post by 1littlewolf

Ah, yes... the old "every atom is a universe" theory.... interesting.. but the models don't really coincide in my opinion.....


posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 10:02 AM
reply to post by PerfectAnomoly

I don't buy that precise values leads to some kind of god consciousness driving the process. I tihnk it could be that these "singularities" are quite common and perhaps infinite in number. One or two of them, or more, will have just the right settings for life as we know it to arise. So maybe we just don't have the benefit of knowledge to know about these other failed universes. It's kind of like life on earth. Maybe life in this universe really is rare. Are we lucky to be on one of the few planets that had hte right chemistry? Not at all! That's like saying a person is lucky to be born in america. To be unlucky is not to exist. So luck isn't a factor. And because life is rare, does that mean a god necessarily must have made it? No. Perhaps we live in a universe where life is so astronomically rare that intelligent life only formed on one planet in the whole universe.

The need for precise values does hint at the existence of near infinite numbers of other universes... Reminds me of evolution and how complex an organism can appear to be.

The need for high expectations on humans also similarly leads to a lot of failed humans. And in evolutionary time scales many species did not survive. Evolution doesn't need god. It just needs a lot of time, a lot of space, and a lot of chance opportunities; possibly in multiple universes.

It's the difference between solving a problem intelligently and using brute force to solve it. Even a dumb animal over a long period of time, in great numbers, can adopt intelligent behavior without the explicit need for actual intelligence. Once it found what worked, it went with it; rinse/repeat.
edit on 27-7-2011 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 10:26 AM

Originally posted by jonnywhite
reply to post by PerfectAnomoly

I don't buy that precise values leads to some kind of god consciousness driving the process. I tihnk it could be that these "singularities" are quite common and perhaps infinite in number. One or two of them, or more, will have just the right settings for life as we know it to arise. So maybe we just don't have the benefit of knowledge to know about these other failed universes. It's kind of like life on earth. Maybe life in this universe really is rare. Are we lucky to be on one of the few planets that had hte right chemistry? Not at all! Consciousness itself would be one of the few by default, there're no conditions. So luck isn't a factor. And because life is rare, does that mean a god necessarily must have made it? No. Perhaps we live in a universe where life is so astronomically rare that intelligent life only formed on one planet in the whole universe.
edit on 27-7-2011 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)

I would agree, the fact that we are here is irelevant really, it is a fact. And you are could be that we happen to be the only "living" planet in the entire universe, and the fact that we are here cannot be used to prove that other intelligent life exists... or so I thought....

Did you see the recent story regarding a possible new source for life on earth.... they discovered an organism in a lake in California that is the first discovered organism that can substitute one of the six chemical elements essential to life. It is an Arsenic based organism...

This has far reaching consequences....

This could mean one of two things...

1. Our evolutionary tree was originally far more diverse than the remenants we are left with today and this species/phylum split from our own evolution at a very early point in life on this planet.

2. That life actually started in more than one place on earth.

This second statement has incredible far reaching consequences.... if life only started in one particular place, then it is sensible to surmise that this event could be a one off, a may not have happened anywhere else in the known universe... however, if we can prove it started in two seperate places, with two seperate instigations, the conslusions are extraordinary... if it happened twice... it can certainly happen anywhere... at any time......

Interesting news article..... some quick quotes.. and a link.

"It starts to show life can survive outside the traditional truths and universals that we thought you have to use... this is knocking one brick out of that wall".

"The general consensus is that this really could still be an evolutionary adaptation rather than a second genesis. But it's early days, within about the first year of this project; it's certainly one to think on and keep looking for that second genesis, because you've almost immediately found an example of something that's new."

"While bacteria have been found in inhospitable environments and can consume what other life finds poisonous, this bacterial strain has actually taken arsenic on board in its cellular machinery."

Until now, the idea has been that life on Earth must be composed of at least the six elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus - no example had ever been found that violates this golden rule of biochemistry.

The bacteria were found as part of a hunt for life forms radically different from those we know.

"At the moment we have no idea if life is just a freak, bizarre accident which is confined to Earth or whether it is a natural part of a fundamentally biofriendly universe in which life pops up wherever there are Earth-like conditions," explained Paul Davies, the Arizona State University and Nasa Astrobiology Institute researcher who co-authored the research."


posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 10:45 AM
reply to post by PerfectAnomoly

Yes I saw it but I don't very much understand the implications.

I think to appreciate these things you need to be some kind of biologist
The lady who did that work seemed all excited, but it was hard for me to relate. Science is slow, one step at a time. You have to already intimately know the scientific method and all of the details in the science fields. Otherwise, it's like reading a foreign language you don't understand.

What I got from it was: we found a strange breed of life, but its greater implications are unclear.
edit on 27-7-2011 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)

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