To Infinity and Beyond!

dominos

When I think about infinity a couple things come to mind. First I notice that there seem to be different levels or types of infinity. Infinity can have a starting point or and ending point or neither. I can add one to zero recursively and never reach the last positive number. This serves as a numerical representation of an infinite string of numbers which has a beginning but no end. I call this progressive infinity. I can also subtract one from zero recursively and never reach the last negative number. This is a numerical representation of an infinite string of numbers which has an end but no beginning. I call this regressive infinity. Combine the regressive and progressive infinite strings and you end up with a numerical representation of an infinite string with no beginning and no end.

This mental exercise works fine with numbers. Numbers are abstract. They don’t really exist. They are not confined by the natural world since they have no physical properties to interact with space and time. When we try to associate infinity with tangible things in the real world, it looks like it just doesn’t work.

What happens when we attempt to apply the concept of regressive infinity to string of falling dominoes? Let’s imagine that we’re watching a string of dominoes fall one by one and it is so long we cannot see the beginning. We could conclude that the chain of dominoes has no beginning. But that would be completely illogical.  As we watch the dominoes fall one by one, it’s clear that each domino falls because it’s pushed over by the previous one. Every falling domino causes the next one to fall. Ask yourself how many dominoes will fall in a string of dominoes that has no beginning and therefore no cause for the previous one to fall? The answer must be a whopping zero. A string of dominoes that has no beginning does not have a first domino to tip the second, the tenth, the hundredth, or the billionth. But that’s not all. If the string of dominoes has no beginning, then there is no first domino, no second domino, and no third domino. In fact, there are no dominoes at all.

But wait a second.  We are witnessing a long string of fallen dominoes form behind the domino that is currently falling and a long string of upright dominoes ahead of it. For this occur before our eyes there must have been a first domino and something must have caused it to tip. I see no way around this.

Just like there would be no string of dominoes to watch fall if a string of dominoes never began, there would be no moon to orbit the earth if the moon had no beginning. The same goes for the earth. There would be no earth to orbit the sun if the earth had no beginning. The same even applies to the entire cosmos. There would be no cosmos to hold the galaxies if the cosmos had no beginning.

Everything we can witness in the physical world, therefore, must have had a beginning otherwise it would not exist now and we could not measure changes in it’s properties over time. If something has no beginning it cannot change for it does not exist. We know everything is changing. The second law of thermodynamics states that entropy – or disorder – increases with time. If everything in the natural world is changing toward greater chaos, it must first exist in order to change, and to exist it must have a beginning.

If everything has a beginning and a cause, something must have caused the very first elements of our world. Since the further back in time we go the greater the order, those first elements at the onset of time would have been perfect. What could cause the very first elements of our natural world to originate in the highest possible state of order?

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3 responses to “To Infinity and Beyond!

  1. The only thing that really makes sense is our idea that things must have a beginning is simply wrong. Apparently, the state of things is that matter yoyo’s between consolidation in black holes and dispersion into universes. There are probably multiple big bangs going on all the time across infinity.

    Any time we insist there must be a beginning, we are confronted by the question, “yeah, but what was before that?”

  2. Yet every time someone claims to me that the cosmos never began, they cannot seem to explain how it is that I can see the stars when I look in the sky, I can see the moon, I can see the ground I’m standing on, I can sense my body, I have thoughts about what I am experiencing, and I can sit here an type this message right now. Could I do that if time had not begun, if the cosmos had not begun, if the earth had not begun, if I had not begun? Think about what it means to say X never began. It means it doesn’t exist. The physical world is not infinite.

  3. Apparently you can enjoy the stars, the moon, etc. without there being a beginning. The physical universe (meaning not just our universe and our big bang, but all the others and their bangs) must, of logical necessity, be infinite. How could it be otherwise?

    If it is not infinite, then there is a boundary. If there is a boundary, then there is an inside and an outside. Once you cross the boundary, where are you?

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