Infinity, and other twirling matters
Due to my fascination of science - in particular mathematics and cosmology - I have quite a record of debates and discussions about infinity, space, time and the beginning of everything. The subject I'd actually like to address in this blog post is common arguments like:
- "The universe cannot always have existed, because there has to be a beginning."
- "If the universe is finite then what is on the other side?"
As you know - and as I know - but apparently what I still need to say: I don't have the answers to this. Like the wast majority of people I guess based on my mindset and gut feelings; Only few minds on this planet can come up with truly qualified guesses.
The Common Argument
But what I'm going to address here is not the answers. It's the mindset behind the common argumentation. I'm not saying the common argumentation is incorrect, not at all! I simply want to aspire you, the dear reader, to make room in your reality for what you consider impossible or illogical.
What strikes me is that for many people their reality is very much limited to what they understand. Anything they don't understand is, in their minds, equal to an impossibility. And I think that's a highly misleading assumption, although not intentional.
For instance, I can't comfortably say understand infinity in'n'out. I can somewhat explain it, but I sure as hell can't imagine it. Yet I've chosen to remain open to the idea that our universe is sprawling with things, objects, concepts and laws that reach far beyond the capabilities of my understanding - of any human's capability, really.
Let's consider the argument: "The universe cannot always have existed, because there has to be a beginning."
Again, let me perfectly clear: I'm not considering this argument wrong. I'm only discussing the rationale behind it.
What I turn to think about this statement, and similar statements, is that the idea of beginnings and endings is hard-wired in the human mindset and is maybe the most fundamental of all things to our existence. But even so, I consider it wrong to assume the same applies for everything else.
If we take a step back and consider the two options: Either that the universe came to be out of nothing or that the universe always existed and didn't have a beginning, then in all honesty, I find it much harder to believe that everything started out of nothing, rather than everything having just always been here. The latter is a bit more logical.
One scenario is impossible: Things can't start existing out of nothing. The other scenario is just hard to comprehend and takes a little getting used to.
Consider the other perspectives
However, some of the critical, observant readers here may have noticed exactly what I'm trying to point out: I just made the very mistake I'm addressing. Since I don't find it logical that things can originate from nothing, I ruled it out. The limitations of my understanding became my new reality.
To make things even, I will instead consider another logic, and actually try to bring the first "impossible" scenario back in the game: Let's pretend we have absolutely nothing. No space, no time, no stuff, no laws of physics. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Wouldn't that imply that the laws of mathematics also don't exist? It most certainly would. At this point nobody knows what 0+0 is. So 0+0 could be 1, 6, 27,000 or infinity. If we transfer this "logic" (or lack of same) aren't we suddenly in a situation where nothing can very much become something?
Essentially, both scenarios are certainly possibilities now where I allowed myself to discard the hard-wired human assumptions. I don't fully understand any of the two scenarios, but we can't rule them out just yet, simply due to lack of understanding.
A few final words
I'd like to say that this is simply an observation I've made in the mindsets of others and myself. I'm not trying to tell you that the universe always was here or that a complete nothingness became the universe because of the lack of laws. But to simply allow that matters you don't understand to become part of your reality.
If the world existed only of what humans understood, the world would be incredibly boring.