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Can infinity replace God?

The "argument by design" holds that the world is full of complex, highly organized things that could not have emerged but for the acts of an intelligent designer. Darwin's theory of natural selection dealt a death blow to this argument in the realm of biology. His theory showed how complexity can ratchet up in small increments as randomly generated beneficial traits get preserved while deleterious ones get discarded.

Natural selection works in a finite world. The earth is 4 1/2 billion years old -- very old, to be sure, but not infinitely old. Likewise, the universe is about 14 billion years. But what if the world were infinite? Perhaps it is. The multiverse theory suggests there could be an infinite number of universes, each isolated from all others but unfolding according to its own laws and contingencies.

Infinity overturns our intuitions about probability. We feel that something whose probability is infinitessimal will not and cannot happen. This idea, in fact, is implied by the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that a closed system must tend toward entropy. That is, an isolated system must move from an ordered (improbable) state to a disordered (more probable state.) Open a door between a hot room and a cold room. The fast-moving air molecules of the hot room will start mixing with the slow-moving molecules of the cold room until the temperature of the two rooms equalizes. But couldn't this process be reversed, with all the fast-moving molecules going to one room while the slow ones go to the other? Yes, but the probability of randomly moving molecules spontaneously sorting themselves in this way is so small as to boggle the mind. Nevertheless, given an infinite number of trials, an improbable event -- no matter how improbable -- becomes likely, or even necessary. Multiply an indefinitely small probability by an indefinitely large number and you get a probability approaching one -- that is, certainty.

Thus, in an infinite world, any event that can happen, no matter how improbably, must happen.

So, in an infinite world no intelligent designer is needed to create highly improbable complex systems; they can -- and must -- arise spontaneously. This is true even outside the realm of living things, where natural selection holds sway.

Lalo 5 July 1

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11 comments

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It is fun to wonder about alien life and where their home planet might be. With an infinite Universe there has to be an infinite number of planets that support life, but the distances are so great we may never meet. maybe they have visited us, maybe even tried to help us, but we were savages for the most part. Whose to say we still arent?

gater Level 7 July 1, 2018
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Well seeing that the notion of a deity is a myth and infinity is provable that is a no-brainer. Would say infinity would also be hard to explain to someone with no conceptuality so would conclude infinity is a perceptive thought.

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Infinity is a useful concept but it is often used inappropriately by being assigned as a trait to some object or another. Briefly, nothing can be infinite, since in order for something to "be", it must be defined and measurable. If it isn't, then the object would exist in a perpetual state of creation and couldn't be said to "be" anything at all ... yet.

This problem is aggravated by the assumption that since the concept of infinity has utility in mathematics, that it somehow represents something that is translatable and definable. As an example, in mathematics we understand that pi is an infinite irrational number. However, in practical terms, this is a meaningless concept. To claim a number is infinite is to render it incomplete, or "under construction". It makes it unknowable since its value can never be established. It is only by making the infinite "finite", that we acquire its utility value. In short, pi is meaningful only when it isn't infinite. An infinite number is incomplete and unknown, and only acquires meaning when an "end" is established.

Nothing can be infinite? what about numbers? Can you always add 1 to any number?

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The Universe is infinite, there was no beginning. The Big Bang theory is wrong.

gater Level 7 July 1, 2018

@JustKip No - fact

@JustKip What makes you think my statements are unknowable? Logically the Universe has to be infinite and eternal.

@TheAstroChuck Just because you aren't capable of comprehending infinity, doesn't make it false.

@JustKip Assumptions? Its all very simple - The Universe is either finite or infinite. And it can't be finite unless theres a wall in space. And guess what? theres space on the other side of the wall. Anyone that claims the Universe is finite is clueless.

@TheAstroChuck Do you get tired of always being wrong?

1

Drivel! Infinity is real, a well-defined mathematical fact. God is a concept, a delusional one at that. Like asking if an apple can replace greed.

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God(s) do not exist and infinity is just a mathematical concept.

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Who says there is even a god that can be replaced?

Also, just because our local universe is under the second law of thermodynamics, that does not mean other universes within the multiverse follow the same law. The "balance" or "fine tuning" we find in this universe may mean unbalance for another universe, and vice versa.

Infinity, much like perfection, can be approached, but never attained...

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I don't see why you need infinity to dismiss the concept of an intelligent designer. If you need an intelligent designer to create complex life then you need another intelligent designer to create the first intelligent designer, thus an infinite regression. If you take the position that your intelligent designer does not need a creator of it's own then the same can be said for complex life. These are standard creationist arguments and are without merit.

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Sounds more believable than a god but someone will always revert to even infinity had to start somewhere ( because they do not understand its meaning )

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The problem is applying the concept of infinity to anything outside the realm of mathematics. It has a very specific meaning there. Trying to apply that meaning to the physical poses many problems.

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